NORWICH – Over 130 supporters turned out for the firefighter’s graduation ceremony held at the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office Thursday that welcomed a large class of 23 volunteers into the ranks of seven different local departments.
“It just always been in my background. It’s one of the best ways I can think of serving the community and fire fighting is in my blood,” said 20-year-old graduate Steven Goodchild of the Plymouth Fire Department. Goodchild’s father had been in the fire service as a paid firemen for 24 years in Fort Lauderdale Florida before moving his family to Chenango County.
Goodchild who has lived in the area for the last 10 years recently enlisted in Army and will be heading to basic training January 13.
He was awarded the Professionalism Award for the class. The award is decided by the fire instructors who discuss candidates displaying the highest level of professionalism and leadership.
“I want to stay in the area, once I’m finished serving, hopefully I’ll be able to find a paid firefighting position in Chenango or possibly Binghamton,” said Goodchild.
The ceremony also honored graduate Mike Stazo with the class’ Academic Excellence Award for outstanding demonstration of the knowledge and skills required of all firefighters in the field.