School bus driver is training to be firefighter
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Oct 22, 2013 | 1139 views |  0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Angela Urso is in training to become a firefighter for the Webster’s Chapel Volunteer Fire Department. She has two reasons for taking on the job.

Being a firefighter will enable her to save lives and property. That was one reason. The second has to do with 49 students who attend school in Pleasant Valley.

The safety of these students is put in Angela’s hands twice a day. As a bus driver for the Calhoun County School System for the past six years, she’s responsible for picking them up at their homes, getting them to school and then getting them safely home again.

She knew that once she had the knowledge of a firefighter, should an incident occur while driving them, she’d know exactly what to do. That’s important to her. She said once she completes the training, she’ll feel better prepared to handle life-threatening situations.

“We have kids who are allergic to certain foods,” she said. “We have one right now that has to have an EpiPen. I want to know everything there is to know about helping them.”

Angela has to have 40 hours to be a firefighter, and she currently has about 20.

“I’m prepared on the trucks, but I’m not prepared to go inside building” she said. “I can drive the trucks and I can also help the men with the hoses and pumps, to be sure they get the pressure they need.”

Her decision to drive a school bus came out of wanting to spend more time as a homemaker.

“I had young kids, and I needed a job that would let me be more flexible with them,” she said. “Plus, for a while, I was caring for my grandmother. It’s all worked out good for all of us. Now, I wouldn’t give it up, even if I could, because I love the kids so much.” Angela also drives during the summer. She drives two days a week for Pleasant Valley and two days a week for Alexandria for students who attend summer programs. She is also a part-time secretary for the fire department.

Angela was born and reared in the Webster’s Chapel area. Her parents are Joey Urso and Judy Bowden. She lives on the Pleasant Valley Road now, which is only about eight miles from where she grew up.

One reason she and her husband, Eric Weaver, who is a welder and fitter, bought their farm, is because they’re able to have orchards and gardens. Angela likes being outside and she especially likes to gather the harvest from their orchards and gardens. There are 85 blueberry bushes, five different types of apple trees, eight pecan trees, three pear trees and five peach trees on their property. This year she filled up three freezers. Her canning included blueberry jelly.

Angela’s children are Zack Holcomb, 22; Anna Holcomb, 18, and Owen Battles, 14, an eighth grade student at Pleasant Valley.

She and her family enjoy four-wheeling and kayaking.

Angela graduated from Alexandria High School. She received an associate degree in business from Gadsden State and attended Jacksonville State University.

Angela’s not home every night, because two nights a week, she drives the girls varsity and junior high volleyball team to their games. When she is home, though, she always cooks.

She said she learned a lot about cooking from her grandmother, Vera Shew. Angela likes cookbooks and has learned to make many dishes from reading them. She often prepares Squash Casserole, Chocolate Chip Pound Cake, Peanut Butter Fudge and Blueberry Sauce for her family.

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Squash Casserole

2 c. cooked squash, mashed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1 c. Ritz cracker crumbs
1 c. grated cheese
1 small onion, chopped
2/3 c. butter, melted
1 c. milk

Combine all ingredients. Place in baking dish. Sprinkle top lightly with additional crumbs and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until brown.

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 c. water
1 lg. box instant chocolate pudding mix
4 eggs
1 pkg. chocolate chips
1 c. nuts
1 c. minus 1 T. oil

Mix cake mix pudding and water. Add eggs, one at a time. Add oil, chocolate chips and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes in tube pan.

Peanut Butter Fudge

2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. peanut butter
1 jar marshmallow cream

In saucepan bring sugar and milk to boil. Boil for three minutes. Add peanut butter and marshmallow cream. Quickly pour into a buttered 8-inch pan. Chill until set. Cut into squares.

Blueberry Sauce

1 1/2 pt. fresh blueberries, rinsed
1 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 c. water

Combine blueberries and sugar in a large saucepan. Add water, vanilla and lemon juice and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate or use immediately.
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School bus driver is training to be firefighter by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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