Schuyler graduates 30 new firefighters
MONTOUR FALLS—Schuyler County’s third Firefighter 1 class graduation on Thursday, April 12, was the biggest yet, with 30 students.
The ceremony was held at the Montour Falls Fire Department, where this class had primarily been held. Firefighter 1 is the first course for certification a person needs to be a firefighter. Instructor Glen Miller explained the class started on Jan. 5 and consisted of 31 sessions. The final exam was just held Tuesday, April 10.
“It takes a lot of time and effort by a lot of people to pull this off,” said Miller.
He added this year’s class was huge and originally started with 37 students. Miller explained they got permission to go over the limit and even brought in additional instructors. He added a lot goes into hosting the class. The fire department provides the engines and equipment. Last year’s class was held at Odessa and at Watkins Glen the first year. Both departments also provided support as needed this year. The New York State Fire Academy in Montour Falls was again utilized. Miller complimented the facility and its usefulness.
This year’s class included students from all over Schuyler County, as well as Elmira Heights, Corning, and Wayne. The graduates included: Christopher Crout and Amanda Davis from Burdett; Tavis McKeon from Hector; Nicholas Arden, Nathan Mayo, and Brady McCord from Mecklenburg; Hunter Gerow, RJ Hartman, Lee Ann Lisefski, and Jon Pinkard from Monterey; Joel Husted, Jason Overhiser, and Brian Swartwood from Montour Falls; Allan Knapp, Mark LaRow, and Patrick Tomassi from Odessa; and Alex Cacciotti, Gary Fanton, and Duane Locke from Watkins Glen.
Davis was also honored for getting the highest score on the midterm and final exam, missing only one question overall. Miller added the Montour Falls trainees put in extra work because it was their facility being used. He even commended the dedication of the trainees who lived farthest away, yet still made the classes. Some were even college students.
“It’s an accomplishment to be proud of,” said Schuyler County Emergency Management Coordinator Bill Kennedy. “You’re part of a brotherhood of firefighters. No matter where you go.”
Kennedy also took the time to honor the firefighters who had lost their lives in the line of duty over 10 weeks while the class was in session.