FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 11, 2013
For additional information,
Contact: Amanda Shell
Rural/Metro Fire Department held a graduation ceremony for its fire academy recruit class of 2013 on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the Kerbela Shrine Temple.
Following 16 weeks and more than 240 hours of training, 17 recruits from the Rural/Metro Fire Academy received their firefighter’s badge and took the Firefighters’ Oath. The academy training program involves extensive classroom work and physical conditioning.
“I am very proud of the recruits who earned the right to take the oath,” Rural/Metro Fire Chief Gene Blaylock said. “These men have trained extremely hard to prepare them for a new challenge – protecting the safety of Knox County residents and their property. I am confident they will perform their new duties admirably.”
Recent promotions and completion of higher education were also recognized, including the promotion of Rick Herrell to assistant fire chief for Knox County. Herrell also delivered the keynote address and encouraged the firefighters continue the momentum into their new careers.
“When I look back at pictures from my graduation ceremony, what I notice is the look of pride in my face,” said Herrell. “I see that same pride reflected in the graduates today.”
Several awards were given out at the ceremony, including the “Recruit of the Year” award to Daniel Orr and the first-ever “Leadership Award” to recruit class president Adam Thomas. Lt. Alex Fowler was awarded “Instructor of the Year” and was presented with a plaque by the recruits.
“This is our favorite time here at the Rural/Metro Fire Department,” said Lt. Lee Yager. “It has been an honor to train these young men over the past four months, and I look forward to seeing you all on the field of battle in the future.”
Graduating in this year’s academy class were Marcus Atkins, Joshua Blakely, Adam Brantley, Robby Bratta, Michael Bravine, Michael Fields, Steven Ivey, Matthew Jones, Michael Perrin, Jarrad Read, Jacob Riggs, Kevin Snider, Daniel Stalans, Adam Thomas, Kyle Westrup, William Winship and Daniel Orr.
An additional nine individuals graduated to paramedic status from the National Registry Paramedic Program during the ceremony. These firefighters were Aaron Bousquet, Matt Hackney, Matt Osborne, Siobhan Cavanagh, Jason Harding, Nathan Patterson, Brian Graham, Drew Hedrick and Matthew Plummer. These graduates will staff Rural/Metro fire trucks as first responders, as well as Rural/Metro ambulances.
About Rural/Metro Fire Department
Rural/Metro Fire Department is the third-largest fire jurisdiction in the state by population protected and has provided fire protection for Knox County since 1977. Rural/Metro Corporation provides emergency and non-emergency medical transportation, fire protection, and other safety services in 22 states and approximately 400 communities throughout the United States.