The Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services recently celebrated 43 individuals during a special ceremony.

Eight driver engineers, eight lieutenants and four captains were promoted. Two tenured firefighters were celebrated for completing paramedic school. And 2018-03 recruit class was able to shed the label of “recruit” and were welcomed as firefighters/paramedics.

Commission Chairman Charlotte J. Nash encouraged the newly-promoted firefighters to uphold the standard that has been placed in front of them.

County Administrator Glenn Stephens drew attention to the uniqueness of the combined ceremony. He said he felt it was important for the new firefighters to see the opportunities and career path that lay in front of them. By witnessing the promotions, tangible goals could be set because these were “homegrown” talent, organizers state.

Deputy County Administrator Phil Hoskins was also in attendance and applauded the achievements of the group.

With his command staff looking on, Fire Chief Russell Knick shared examples of activities that some of the newly-promoted individuals had participated in that helped set them apart to show they were ready to take on more responsibility in the organization.

The new firefighters/paramedics invested 16-months into the county's mentally and physically demanding program. Thousands of hours were spent learning about paramedicine and basic firefighting skills. Being able to shed the label of recruit was earned and the 10 certifications they acquired along their journey allows them to be recognized as firefighter/paramedics.

The following night, families of the new firefighters/paramedics were invited to the Training Academy to enjoy refreshments and get a glimpse into what the life of a recruit looked like firsthand. During the event, Training Academy instructors presented individual awards based on performance throughout the training program. The Academic and Star of Life Awards went to Tyler Culp, Core Values Award went to Luke Foshee, Top Rung Award went to Logan Holt and the Physical Fitness Award went to Travis Nyberg.

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