NORWICH – The fire services of Chenango County welcomed 21 recruits into their volunteer firefighting ranks after the class successfully completed the mandated Firefighter One training requirements.
At the graduation ceremony at the Howard Johnson’s Hotel in Norwich, Chenango County Fire Coordinator Matthew Beckwith commended the personal sacrifices made during the three month training course.
“It’s important to remind people of all the time an individual commits in becoming a volunteer. As manpower issues continue to plague our local departments and rosters keep getting shorter, the value of these men and women needs to be recognized and appreciated,” said Beckwith.
The 21 fire graduates were sponsored by the area departments they participate in with many already having nearly at least of year of volunteer fire experience.
The graduates completed about 90 hours of hands-on and classroom training for Firefighter One qualifications.
The volunteers attended classes two nights a week and on a handful of Saturdays for four hour classes that sometimes ended later than 10:30 p.m. – often after working their regular jobs during the day. Much of the training occurred at the Fire Training Center in Norwich, but the class also traveled to other training centers outside of area for parts of the program...