ORWELL-Twenty-year-old Hannah Korda of Orwell is a hard-working second-year student at Lyndon State College. As a youngster, she grew up knowing all about her famous family name-an astounding family recognized for its stellar artistic talents in London and Hollywood motion-picture making, writing, music composing, even film animating.
Korda family members, never afraid to roll up their sleeves and help the community, also distinguished themselves as fire and rescue practitioners-and that's what young Hannah took a shine to early on. (By the look of it, she prefers Green Mountains over Hollywood Hills any old day.)
As a human services major at LSC, Hannah occupies her free time as a busy volunteer with the Lyndonville Fire Department. But to earn income, she works as a "bouncer" at the Packing House Bar downtown. Tough place for a woman to work? Nah-few male bar customers hassle her, maybe because she's just one of the guys.
"Working at the bar is a way to earn money while attending college," she said.
But her real passion is down the street at the local volunteer firehouse.
While there's never any income toiling as a volunteer, Korda's future looks very rosy in the field of professional firefighting.
Korda, a 2006 graduate of the Vermont State Firefighter Cadet Academy, never stops training. As a Level-II firefighter, she has expanded her skill set to include advanced rescue and firefighting techniques.
"I am certified on the high-angle rope," she said, "as well ice-water rescue."
Recently, the young Korda was featured a News 7 T.V. broadcast via LSC's Vermont Center for Community Journalism.
A campus news crew followed Korda around as she trained on a high-angle rope and swept up the taproom floor at the Packing House. It was the kind of publicity any thrill seeker would love to have, but not necessarily Hannah Korda. She's not exactly shy, but then she doesn't seek attention either. She goes about her business in a professional manner and without much fuss.
The "thrill" of firefighting and rescue is not what attracts Hannah to the work-it's a desire to help others.
"Ireally like helping people," Korda told the News 7 crew. "Yes, Iam interested in a career in firefighting, but I don't have a desire to be a chief. I want to work my way up, see what happens."
According to Hannah's father-former Disney animator and Orwell firefighter Sandy Korda-"The guys she works with have great respect for her. Who knows? Hannah can be an ambassador for the fire service by inviting other women into a previously male-dominated work force."
In addition to his own volunteer firefighting and Hollywood resume, the elder Korda is now proud owner of Image 911, a Vermont-based firm that specializes in creating and marketing a wide variety of innovative EMS, fire, haz-mat, K-9, police and rescue, and training products. So it's no wonder Hannah grabbed on to the proverbial fire pole.
While Papa Korda may be the secret inspiration behind his firefighting daughter's pursuit of a dangerous field, he demurs.
"Well, I don't know where Hannah gets it from-must be from her mother," he said.
Check It Out: To view the News 7 clip about Hannah Korda of Orwell, see: http://campus.lyndonstate.edu\News7/archives/archive.html.