Wichita Falls native finds new passion fighting fires in California, Oregon

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As the west coast continues to fight wildfires, one of Wichita Falls’ own felt a calling to help in that fight. Layton Taylor worked as an EMT in Wichita falls for about 9 months. After becoming inspired by watching a movie about fighting wildfires, Taylor decided to pack up and move to Oregon.

“It’s been a journey. It’s a big risk. It was a really big risk,” Taylor said.

Taylor is one of many firefighters currently battling wildfires in California and Oregon.

“Working in EMS taught me that life’s short and I don’t need to be afraid of dying because I could literally do it at any point. So I might as well do cool stuff with the time I have here,” Taylor said.

After a quick job search, Taylor found himself moving to Ashland, Oregon to work his new dream. Despite 14 to 16 hour work days for 2 weeks at a time and living out of his truck for the first 2 months, Taylor isn’t fazed at all.

“I’m not really scared of failure at this point now because I always figure a way through stuff. It’s working right now so I’m gonna run with it.”

As Taylor and other firefighters work tirelessly to fight fires across the west coast, he says it always helps to have a great crew to work with.

“Everyone on my crew, all 19 of ’em, they’re like family and I’ve known ’em for two months. And everyone on the crew, they all love it. I work with a bunch of heroes. These people, they’re animals.”

It also helps to have the support of family and friends.

“Mom and my dad. I think they kind of realize at this point that if I wanna do something, I’m gonna do it. They’re very happy and proud of me for it. I’m very happy with my life. It’s a cool job.”

A career in firefighting and EMS is a happy life for Taylor and he encourages others to chase their dreams too.

Taylor also said the wildfires are expected to die out by December. Whenever the fires die down, Taylor said he plans to work as an EMT in Oregon.

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