Fire school graduates 10

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ten men officially became firefighters Friday at the conclusion of a recruit school hosted by Thorsby Fire Department.

The school, conducted through the Alabama Fire College, is a 10-week, 400-hour course that challenges all who aspire to become career firefighters. The graduates represented Thorsby, Collins Chapel, East Chilton, McCalla, Cahaba Valley, Concord and Warrior fire departments.

Prior to receiving his diploma, Carl Brown of the Cahaba Valley EMS and Fire District, called the first week of training “a total delight.”

“The last nine weeks have been my own worst nightmare,” he was quick to add.

A typical day’s training would begin at 7 a.m. After manning their equipment, the cadets would respond to the drill field and line up for inspection. Then they would march to the flagpole and observe a moment of silence before raising the flag and entering the classroom for daily lessons.

Most of the afternoon involved physical action on the drill field. At 3:30, they would clean the equipment and line up for physical training.

All 10 cadets received their diplomas and badges during Friday’s ceremony.

“These guys were not going to let anybody go, whether it was studying for tests, passing that 18-mile run or staying in the burn building all day,” Thorsby Fire Chief Lee Gunn said.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Gunn assured the recruits that their training would not end.

“The day you walk into the fire station and feel that you have taken all the classes you need to take, you probably need to retire,” he said.