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ODESSA—The Odessa Fire Department hosted the graduation for the 2011 Firefighter 1 course, Tuesday, April 12.
There were 18 graduates present for the ceremony.  Sara Jane McPherson, Joshua Dixon, and Devon Monteiro were present from the Watkins Glen Fire Department.  Nick Dalrymple was from the Hector department.  Alexandria Hassan, Todd LaRow, Patrick Rekczis, and Aubrey Tomassi were there from Odessa.  Rebekah Rekczis was also present, but is making up some absences due to her pregnancy.  John Compton and Bryan Rhoads Jr. were from Burdett.  The other graduates were from Mecklenburg, Elmira Heights, and Van Etten.
Bill Kennedy, Schuyler County Emergency Management coordinator, said the graduates each put in 91 hours.  There were a total of four state instructors: Glen Miller, Robbie DeDominic, Alan Gregory, and Brian Gardner.  Kennedy said they offered the graduates 131 combined years of knowledge and experience in firefighter training.
“They’re the finest instructors I know,” said Kennedy.
The Odessa Fire Department sponsored the course.  Kennedy added the Watkins Glen department hosted some classes.  The students also used the burn buildings at the Fire Academy in Montour Falls.  Kennedy said other departments also let the class use equipment and trucks.
“There was a lot of cooperation with departments for training,” said Miller.
Kennedy added this is just the start of the journey as firefighters.  He urged the graduates to go back to their departments and volunteer.  Kennedy said they should continue taking courses, but not immediately. 




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