Photo of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire biology student Albert Lin, who graduates May 2024

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire biology student Albert Lin did not expect his undergraduate experience to include fighting fires and saving lives.

The Evansville native attended UW-Eau Claire with plans to focus primarily on his academics. But he soon learned of a public-service opportunity from a peer in his chemistry course about becoming a firefighter for the Altoona Fire Department.

Having an interest in the medical field to serve the greater good, Lin wanted to bolster his professional experience while pursuing his biology degree. Upon being hired, Lin needed intensive training to become a firefighter and be certified as an emergency medical responder.

Through the Altoona Fire Department, Lin enrolled at Chippewa Valley Technical College while juggling 17 course credits at UW-Eau Claire, an endeavor he says proved to be challenging but rewarding in the end.

Photo of Albert Lin in his firefighting gear

A college student by day and firefighter by night, Lin has responded to several emergency calls involving structure fires and medical emergencies, all of which he says have shown and taught him how to respond according to the situation while helping people in the community.

Lin never thought a career as a firefighter was possible for college students. He is grateful for the connections, professional relationships and opportunity to make a difference in others’ lives, experiences he says will leave a lasting impression on him. Lin expects to graduate from UW-Eau Claire in May 2024 with his bachelor’s degree in biology.


Written by Jesse Yang (story + video)

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