November 21, 2018
By David Nordby The Brillion News
REEDSVILLE – Reedsville High School senior Marco Morales told Reedsville Fire Chief Brad Busse that he was bringing a unique skill to the department when he joined it in June. Morales’ dual-speaking English and Spanish skills quickly paid off when he assisted with a victim at a recent accident.
“When it first came across the pager, it said there was a language barrier … I was ready to translate, but when I got to the fire department, that was a totally different story. They asked me where I was,” Morales said.
Morales was needed on the scene and when he arrived there, he knew his language skills needed to be put to use asking the victim if he was okay and a series of other questions.
“It was just something that came to me right away, man,” Morales says. “I needed to ask questions … and then translate for whoever needed translating.”
The welcome-to-firefighting moment came swiftly for Morales. Morales prophesied it when he first met with Busse.
“When I first joined the fire department, I told Brad it was going to be something different for the fire department that I spoke Spanish,” Morales said.
The prospect of a bilingual firefighter was and is an exciting one for Busse.
“He is quite an asset to my department and the community that we can utilize to help with communication on calls dealing with Spanish speaking individuals,” Busse said.
Morales has lived in Reedsville for 14 years and his first language was Spanish. He has an apprenticeship driving a tractor for Braun Electric, too.
While English was the second language he learned, he is fluent. Morales first started picking up on English words while watching the animated shows Go, Diego, Go and Dora the Explorer. His parents speak English, too.
“It’s just kind of a thing my family has done,” Morales said.
His firefighting passion came at an early age because of another instance when a firefighter played hero.
“A firefighter saved my dad’s life from an accident so that’s what gave me that big push as soon as I turned 18,” Morales said.
Please see the complete story in the Nov. 22 edition of The Brillion News.