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“I’ve Always Wanted to Save Lives”

By Kelly Rodriguez

Aldo BotelloThe idea of a burning building on the brink of collapsing and smoke every which way you turn would scare just about anyone. For some, it’s just another day’s work.

Jan. 10, 2012, proved to be no ordinary day for, 20-year-old freshman, Aldo Botello, who is a Fire Science major here at Palo Alto College. It would be the day that would set the tone for the rest of his life.

“I didn’t always want to be a firefighter. I wanted to be a paramedic, but the idea of saving a life when one of your biggest obstacles is a huge fire. It’s a huge adrenaline rush, “ He said.

Bontello, a recent graduate of South San class of ’10, and the first in his family to join San Antonio Fire Department, said,” Getting accepted to the SAFD was no easy task.”

To be considered one of San Antonio’s finest, applicants must pass the Civil Service entrance examination with a minimum score of 70 percent. The exam consists of 100 questions with a 2.5-hour time limit. Also, you must be at least 19 years of age, but not have reached 34 years of age by the date of the entrance exam. Rigorous training is also one of the requirements.

“Both my parents and my late grandmother wanted me to join the San Antonio Police Department, but they are very proud nonetheless, and I know my grandmother will be guiding me every step of the way.”