Friday, August 1, 2008

Recruits welcomed to the 'fire family'


After three grueling months of nonstop training and studying, nine recruits stepped forward proudly to have a fire badge pinned to their uniform on Thursday in recognition of their acceptance to the ranks of local firefighters.
As the graduates of Academy Class #37, a joint academy between the Santa Barbara City Fire Department and the Montecito Fire Protection District, the eight men and one woman have grown into a tight-knit family, as evidenced by plenty of lighthearted jokes and jabs during the graduation ceremony.

“I feel in the past 12 weeks we have built a special bond that will last a lifetime,” Firefighter Joshua Brousseau said.
A video screened during the celebration provided a brief glimpse into their arduous training regimen, showing the recruits pounding out pushups, hauling hose from trucks and dragging each other up and down stairways.
A shot of one trainee being scrubbed down in a hazardous materials suit drew chuckles from the audience. Other scenes showed the recruits spraying down flaming cars or rappelling down the side of a building.
Capt. Lee Waldron, an academy coordinator and member of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department, noted the long hours put in by the nine graduates during the three-month academy.
“They haven’t been goofing off and they haven’t been at the beach, I can tell you that,” he told family and friends who gathered to celebrate the long-awaited occasion.
He also praised the cooperation between the neighboring fire agencies, explaining that the opportunity to train together will pay dividends in the future on shared emergency calls.
“It made our fire family a little bigger,” he said.
Santa Barbara’s Fire Chief Ron Prince and Montecito’s Fire Chief Kevin Wallace both offered their congratulations to the newest members of the fire departments. Chief Wallace also offered a few words of wisdom.
“We assist people through what is often the worst moment of their life,” he told the recruits. “We need courage, compassion and empathy.”
Those honored include new Santa Barbara firefighters Brian Baxter, Joshua Brousseau, Phil Faulding, Andrew Lee, Joe Mairleitner and Paul Spinale. The three firefighters joining the Montecito crew are Ben Hauser, Sarah Marshall and Jordan Zeitsoff.
During a speech peppered with inside jokes and humorous references to his fellow recruits, Hauser gave special recognition to Marshall, who is the first woman firefighter to join the Montecito Fire Protection District.
He also thanked the dozens of firefighters who offered tips and guidance during their time in the academy.
“A huge part of our family was the big brothers and big sisters we had,” Hauser said, giving a nod to a cadre of uniformed men and women lining the back of the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion.
Capt. Mike Lee of the Montecito Fire Protection District, who worked with Capt. Waldron to coordinate the academy, said the recruits truly grew together as a group during the past 12 weeks.
“All nine of these guys did really, really well,” he said. “I would take any one of them on a call with me.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Greetings , Mr. LIndberg ,

i am certain the professionalism of individuals at the daily sound press room distinguished themselves through NOT ONLY comprehensive , BUT ALSO proactive journalistic integrity with regard to public service reporting this past ' school year ' for local youth , thanks for the responsible support to local fire fighters , police , sheriff , medical , and national park rangers ,

i am certain your future is already bright , today ,

Jason Gregorio Hanson