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First Responder Friday: Clemson student trades football helmet for firefighter helmet

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CLEMSON (WSPA) – Clemson recruited Noah DeHond to play football in 2017.

The Rochester, New York native played on the offensive line. He was redshirted his freshman year before suffering a neck injury in 2018. He never got a chance to play in a game.

“I have no regrets about my time with the football team,” DeHond said. “I gave it everything I had, and I left better than I came in.”

After retiring from football, DeHond decided to follow another dream.

“I had my little Halloween fire outfit when I was a kid,” he said.

He is still at Clemson, but he’s on a different team now. He traded his football helmet for a Clemson University firefighter helmet.

“My freshman year, I drove by the fire station because it’s right by my dorm. And I was like, ‘I wonder if I could do an internship there?’” he said.

DeHond started off as a student firefighter before becoming a full time firefighter.

He says the fire department helmet is heavier, but there are lots of similarities between fighting fires and playing football.

“You build that trust as you get the calls, do training, spend all that time together,” DeHond said. “It’s no different than being on a football team.”

DeHond works much of the time at the CUFD station on Perimeter Road. That’s less than two miles from Death Valley, where the Clemson Tigers play.

He said he’s on track to graduate next year.

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