For most normal high school students, working a part-time job is considered a first step towards learning important life skills.

For most normal high school students, working a part-time job is considered a first step towards learning important life skills. 

However, the skills Plainview’s Lane Ross learns at his part-time job aren’t just everyday things. 

For the past year, Ross has been a volunteer firefighter for the Lone Grove fire department. 

During the first few months of the school year, Ross is busy suiting up for the Indians football team, and then switches gears to help man the paint for the Plainview varsity basketball team.

But once he’s done being an athlete, Ross becomes something more. 

The passion to be a firefighter has burned inside Ross ever since he was a little kid. His father Joey Ross was a firefighter for 22 years and his uncle Greg Allen spent 23 years with the Lone Grove fire department. 

Both men have inspired Ross to achieve his dream.

“I have always wanted to be a firefighter ever since I was little,” Ross said. “On Halloween most kids dressed up as superman or batman, but I was a firefighter. It’s just something I have always enjoyed doing.”

A typical day as a volunteer firefighter is just like any other for a full-time employee. 

After school Ross heads to the department, does a truck check to make sure everything is working correctly and hangs around the firehouse. 

While waiting for a call to come in, Ross joins the other firefighters in the upstairs in a game of pool.

As volunteer Ross has been on many calls with the fire department, ranging from medical assistance calls to putting out four house fires. 

Some calls, are more intense than others.

“We have been through some bad stuff before, when I was three months in I had to give CPR to someone,” Ross said. 

“The most fun thing about the job is fighting grassfires. On Saturday we had a grass fire and that thing took off with that wind we had. It can  sometimes go 20-25 miles per hour and you’re having to go that fast to try and catch it.”

Ross trains with the Lone Grove fire team at the Ardmore fire department training facility. 

There, Ross will repel with ropes off their tower, participates in full gear during a live burn and doing a search and rescue.

The adjustment from being a high school athlete to a firefighter has been a relatively smooth transition for Ross. 

Being a football player, Ross has developed the ability to rely on others and through basketball, while learning communication is key part to being successful. 

“With football it is a brotherhood and that is how it is at the fire station too,” Ross said. 

“At the firehouse we have 22 guys on and it is a brotherhood up there as well.”

On the basketball court Ross is one of the leaders of the Indians, helping his team make its way deep into the playoffs, where Plainview is currently preparing for the area tournament, which begins Thursday in Midwest City. 

Indians head basketball coach Deon Stevenson has seen how much growth Ross has made not only as a player, but as a person. 

“He (Ross) is one of the finest young men I have ever been around, and easily one of the best I have ever had the privilege of coaching,” he said. “Lane is the ultimate team guy, and just the stuff he does away from the school speaks on the selfless nature in which he lives.”

To Stevenson, Ross is one of the more important cogs on the team, and his leadership is undeniable. With a deep playoff run, and state championship aspirations in sight, being late or missing practice is a big deal. But Stevenson can forgive for the right reasons.

“Over the break he was little bit late to practices because he was fighting fires and had those obligations he was taking care of,” Stevenson said. “Those are easily things you can excuse him of, obviously.”

After graduation, Ross will attend Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he will be majoring in safety, as well as playing football for the Savage Storm. 

His passion for fighting fires he says will continue after graduating college as well, whether it be on a volunteer basis still with Lone Grove or as a paid firefighter elsewhere.

Following in his father and uncles footsteps is becoming a dream come true for Ross, and he’ll always have his favorite part about being a volunteer with the Lone Grove department.

“Running a code three,” Ross said. “Getting in your truck and leaving with your sirens on.”