GOSHEN – The Orange County Department of Emergency Services Division of Fire Services held a Firefighter I Graduation Ceremony yesterday at the County’s Emergency Services Center in Goshen recognizing the thirty-five young men and women from across the County who participated in a condensed summer class at the Orange County Fire Training Center that included 91 hours of training over the course of 10 weeks to become volunteer firefighters, hazmat first responders, and scene support operation responders. Over 100 family members and friends were in attendance to support this new generation of community volunteers.
"We are grateful to the next generation of volunteer firefighters who are choosing to sacrifice their personal time, and that of their families’, while doing a dangerous job to help protect the lives and properties of their neighbors in communities throughout Orange County," said Edward A. Diana, Orange County Executive.
The Firefighter I course is an entry level class for interior structural firefighters who gear-up, don air packs, and enter burning buildings to search for victims and extinguish fires. This particular summer course is the fire center’s most rigorous format factoring in the warm weather and the condensed time frame of the basic program, with some lessons consisting of up to 9 hours of skills in a single day split between classroom work and hands-on evolutions. The co-lead state fire instructors for this class were SFI Frank Hauber and SFI Terry Ward.
"At this ceremony, we thank the firefighters for their commitment to the volunteer fire service and congratulate them on the accomplishment of completing this extremely demanding course," said Vini Tankasali, Deputy Commissioner, Orange County Division of Fire Services.
"I would like to thank County Executive Diana for his continuing support of the fire service of Orange County," said Orange County Deputy Chief McCann. "Fire training is a collaborative effort, and this County supplements the state training program with its own County training hours enabling us to better meet the needs of our local departments. The County is moving forward on the construction of a new burn building that will allow us to not only continue training our new recruits, but challenge our more experienced firefighters."
In addition to the 2013 summer graduates, their families and friends, honored guests in attendance included Orange County Deputy Commissioner of Fire Services Vini Tankasali, Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois, New York State Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (AD-98), Town of Deerpark Councilman and Deputy Supervisor David M. Hoovler, Esq., and Orysia Dmytrenko representing County Executive Ed Diana. Deputy Chief McCann served as the evening’s master of ceremonies, who also thanked the Commissioner of Emergency Services Walter C. Koury, Legislative Chairman Michael R. Pillmeier and Chairman of the Public Safety Committee Legislator Kevin Hines for their support of the Department of Fire Services.