By Kalinowski, Tim on November 20, 2019.
Lethbridge Fire and EMS formally welcomed six new recruits into the department with a special ceremony at Southminster United Church on Tuesday.
Among the young men chosen out of an initial pool of 120 applicants to become the latest firefighters to join the Lethbridge fire department were Antony Smith, Aaron Eisses, Braden Burton, Luke Richardson, Michael May and Oliver Stokes.
“We did 12 weeks of extensive training, and now it is all paying off with a ceremony congratulating all of us for passing,” said Smith on behalf of his fellow recruits during a media scrum on Tuesday. “I feel like we are really well prepared, but at the same time we are still going to have a lot to learn. As far as training went, it has helped us a lot. I feel pretty confident getting on the road and serving the community.”
Smith gave a huge nod to his trainers and the support he has received from all the members of the department over these past 12 weeks of preparation.
“It’s big shoes to fill,” Smith stated. “There is obviously some really good paramedic-firefighters in this department, and I am hoping I can live up to the standard.”
“It’s just a giant family we are all fortunate to be a part of,” agreed Smith’s colleague Richardson. “The City of Lethbridge is great, and we just can’t wait to get out there and serve.”
Lethbridge Fire and EMS Deputy Chief Gerrit Sinke said it is a testament to the quality of the recruits chosen that they were standing in Southminster Church with their families watching them be inducted into the department on Tuesday as they prepared to take on a sacred commitment to serve the community no matter what may come.
“It’s a day we as a fire department can feel extremely proud of,” he said. “We have six wonderful, new, professional, courageous men who are about to hit the streets.”
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