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Keogh 501 Memorial Selects First Cadets

Jan 31, 2024 (0)

PICTURED (L-R): The 501 Memorial Board President Jacqueline Keogh and Atkinson Jr. Fireman/EMT Cadet program winner Addison Karo. Photo Courtesy
PICTURED (L-R): The 501 Memorial Board President Jacqueline Keogh and Atkinson Jr. Fireman/EMT Cadet program winner Abigail Mathis. Photo Courtesy

The Keogh 501 Memorial committee recently announced its first two candidates to charter the Atkinson Jr. Fireman/EMT Cadet program – Abigail Mathis and Addison Karo.

Through the program, the two candidates will have the opportunity to obtain an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) License through Northeast Community College.

According to the committee's Vice-President Jacque Anson, the group screened and vetted numerous applications. 

The event was created following the death of local fireman Ryan Keogh who died on May 16, 2022, at only 43 years old. He was caught in an explosion east of Bassett that destroyed a new home under construction.

In her application to the committee, Mathis wrote, “I want to pursue funding to move forward in the EMT program because I have always wanted to help people. I also want to be able to help the community out. Lately, I have been gaining a strong desire and commitment to help others. After high school I plan on getting my RN and come back to work at West Holt Memorial Hospital and get on Atkinson Fire & Rescue, if possible.” In Karo's application, she wrote, “Growing up in a rural community is one of the many blessings in my life. This past spring, I started working as a certified nurse aide at West Holt Memorial Hospital. Through this experience, I have discovered my passion for healthcare. The impact I have made in such a short time has inspired me to pursue additional opportunities in rural healthcare. 

“I am excited to have the chance to become an EMT in my community. This position will allow me to give back to a community that has helped raise me; additionally, I will further my medical knowledge. The Keogh 501 Memorial Program will help set me on my path of becoming an EMT and eventually a physician. This funding will allow me, a senior in high school, to obtain a role in my community I could have never dreamed of.”

The 501 Memorial Board members include President Jacqueline Keogh, Vice President Jacque Anson, Treasure Jeremy Troidl, Secretary Renae Osborne. Additional board members are Grant Hitchcock, Jeff Mathis, Paul Pistulka, Jon Wolf, Michael Scholes, Parker Theisen and Tyler Schaaf. 

According to the board members, the program's goal is to fund qualified and motivated highschoolers to become EMTs that come back to serve in smalltown departments someday. 

“We are working alongside Atkinson Fire & Rescue to develop a cadet program to develop four young men or women to become Junior Firefighters on the Atkinson Fire Department. The cadets will train right alongside the firefighters and will go on calls just like members of the department,” noted the committee.

Additionally, the program will work with West Holt High School to allow the cadets to leave school during the time a 911 call is received by the department. Participants also will have to maintain adequate grades along with acceptable school attendance. 

“Our goal is to inspire young men and women to someday give back to smalltown fire and rescue departments. Ryan Keogh had a dream of starting this program before his passing and we feel blessed to be able to make it happen,” added the committee. “All the funds we raise will go towards these two programs and we hope to reach out to surrounding communities and help them fund high school and college age individuals that are interested in the Fire Rescue Field.”  


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