City honors Canyon Lake teen

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Ethan Clark suits up during training at the Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center. Photo provided by EVMWD

The City of Canyon Lake recently honored 17-year-old Ethan Clark for his accomplishments and commitment to community service.

Ethan’s community service began 11 years ago when he joined Cub Scout Pack 346 of Canyon Lake. He started as a Tiger Cub and worked diligently up the ranks to Eagle Scout, the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. Only four percent of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after a lengthy review process.

The teen said as a Scout he learned to be a good leader and the importance of being trustworthy, loyal, helpful and friendly in everyday life.

As part of his Eagle Scout service project, Ethan raised money to purchase gym equipment for the firefighters at Canyon Lake Fire Station 60 to use while they serve the community.

“I have been a resident of Canyon Lake my whole life and I wanted to give back to my community and support my local fire station,” said Ethan. “This equipment helps the firefighters with their personal fitness as well as ensuring their readiness as firefighters.”

The Temescal High School senior is active in the community as a volunteer in the Riverside County Fire Explorer program. The program is designed to allow youth between the ages of 14 and 20 to explore a career in the fire service. Participants receive fire service training under the supervision of trained firefighters.

Ethan has been training and preparing himself for a career in the fire service for the past three years. He recently earned the level of “Rideout” status, which allows him to ride in uniform to calls with the firefighters where he can assist them and practice his learning skills.

Residents may have seen him with Canyon Lake’s Fire Station 60 firefighters as he has had the privilege of working with them on many occasions. “I am proud to be a part of this service to our community,” said Ethan.

Ethan currently serves as an explorer lieutenant at his post and served as division chief at the Inland Empire Fire Explorers Association at Ft. Irwin. He also supervised 60 explorers during live fire training.

When the Holy fire erupted last year, Ethan helped to coordinate fire explorer response to help staff the shelter. For two days, and with stitches in his hand, Ethan did what was needed to help at the shelter, whether it was unloading water or comforting displaced families. “No matter what he’s done, it is always about service to others,” said his father Ryan Carter.

One of Ethan’s mentors is Captain Brent Carter of Canyon Lake Fire Station 60, who Ethan first met as a three-year-old when he tagged along with his father to an Emergency Preparedness Committee training day held at Fire Station 60. “Captain Carter is one of Ethan’s mentors, a man he respects and looks up to,” said Ryan. “It takes a village to raise a kid and Barbara and I appreciate Captain Carter and the other firefighters for being a part of our village.”

At Temescal High School, Ethan maintains a 3.5 GPA and is a faculty member of the National Youth Leadership Training Program, helping adolescents learn the skills they need to become successful and respectable adults.

Ethan enlisted in the United States Navy on Jan 20. He deploys to boot camp on Aug. 27 where he’ll spend five months training. He said he is “looking forward to proudly serving our nation.”

The teen is following in the footsteps of three of his four siblings. Ethan’s brother Joey and sister Makayla are serving in the United States Army. His brother Tommy is serving in the United States Air Force and is stationed in Turkey.

Ethan is striving to be a firefighter paramedic with Riverside County and serve as a reservist in the U.S. Navy. After his training, he hopes to return to Canyon Lake Fire Station 60 and serve his community as a firefighter paramedic.

“Ethan is by far by the greatest patriot I’ve ever met,” said his father. “He has devoted his entire life to serving his community.”

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Donna Ritchie