On Nov. 6, nine recruits graduated from the Barrow County Emergency Services (BCES) firefighter training program.
The internal recruit training program lasts for 16 weeks and includes an intense regimen of physical training and academic study. During training, the students learned many important skills they need to become firefighters, according to a news release. Topics included fire behavior, victim rescue, vehicle extrication and numerous other subjects.
“I could not be more proud of this group of men. They learned the meaning of brotherhood, and excelled both physically and academically in recruit school," said Capt. Brett Skinner, who headed up the training. "The entire group graduated with above a 93 GPA or higher. When we set out to recruit firefighters to take this department into the future, these are the type individuals we are looking for.”
The graduation ceremony for Recruit Class 113 was held at River Hills Church, and the keynote speaker was Eric Kidd, program director for AirEva Lifeteam. Each recruit was presented with his fire helmet, surrounded by friends and family.
The graduates leave the recruit training program certified to the level of Firefighter I and II, Hazardous Materials Awareness and Hazardous Materials Operations. All nine have been assigned to stations around the county and began reporting for duty the day after graduation. They will continue their education over the next 18 months to become emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
Receiving awards at the graduation ceremony were:
•“Top Rung” — Joseph Martinez and Braylin Fisher
•“Academic Excellence” — Daniel Broadhead
•“Fire Ground Excellence” — Bradley Marusarz.