Every Tuesday night for the past 19 years Firefighter John Goshorn has sat at the same Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Cadet Program meeting. Beginning in 1999 as a shy 13-year-old who looked up to firefighters; today Goshorn is the one Cadets look up to as he strives to give back to the very program that helped him land his dream job – being an LAFD Firefighter.
“I know it sounds cliché, but I still look at my badge and ask myself if this is real or not,” Goshorn says, now 12 years on the job. “Becoming a firefighter for the LAFD was the equivalent of hitting the lottery for me.”
Born and raised in Sylmar, Calif., Goshorn became interested in the fire service at the age of 9 during a visit to the LA County Fair in 1994. Looking at the fire engines on display up close, he spotted a number of Explorers (now called Cadets) showing the public the details of the equipment and decided then he wanted to become one too. A few years later once he was old enough, Goshorn joined the Explorer program at LAFD Fire Station (FS) 100 (West Van Nuys / Lake Balboa) where for the next seven years he not only attended the four-hour-long, Tuesday night meetings, but also spent every weekend he could doing ride-alongs.
“After spending the whole weekend at the station, sometimes my Mom would have to pick me up Monday morning and take me home to change clothes for school,” Goshorn reflects. “That’s how into the fire department I was and it all paid off in the end.”
In 2003, Goshorn began working for American Medical Response (AMR) as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). After working at AMR for 2 ½ years, he was hired by the LAFD in 2006 and graduated from Drill Tower 40 later that year. As his childhood dream became a reality, Goshorn knew from the start he wanted to give back to the youth program that helped him achieve his goal. Following his two-year probation period in 2008, he returned to the Cadet Post at FS 100 as a volunteer Cadet Post Advisor to teach kids both basic firefighting principles and the LAFD’s core “SPIRIT” values.
Today, Goshorn continues to serve as a volunteer Cadet Post Advisor at Post 89 after assisting with the merger of Posts 100 and 89 into one at FS 89 (North Hollywood). Besides donating his time to the Cadet program, he also utilizes his passion to teach organizations such as the Oxnard Fire Academy, the California Fire Exploring Association and during his duties as a state-certified fire inspector. Outside of fire-related work, John and his wife recently welcomed a son to their family who’s now six months old.
“I take pride in having the kids at my Cadet Post work hard but also have fun doing it,” Goshorn says. “That’s the kind of work ethic I look forward to showing my son once he’s older.”