June 4, 2014
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – On June 3th 286 probationary firefighters graduated for the FDNY Training Academy. The new class is one of the most diverse in the Fire Department’s history, with 45 percent of the Probationary Firefighters identifying as people of color – including 17 percent as Black and 24 percent as Hispanic – as well as four women. In addition, the class features 100 veterans of the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.
The new Firefighters, known as “probies,” graduated after completing a rigorous training program at the Fire Department’s Training Academy located on Randall’s Island. The Mayor and Commissioner congratulated the new class in a ceremony held at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, where they were joined by several hundred family members, friends and fellow firefighters.
Probationary Firefighter Joseph Andres was named valedictorian and Probationary Firefighter Michael Hayes was named salutatorian. The Physical Fitness Award was awarded to Probationary Firefighter William Roe.
Six of the graduates are related to FDNY members who died in the line of duty on September 11th, 2001. Seven of the graduates are related to FDNY members who lost their lives to illnesses directly related to their work at the World Trade Center on September 11th and in the rescue and recovery work that followed.
This class also includes 19 Probationary Firefighters who passed a promotional exam to the rank of Firefighter after previously serving as Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians with the FDNY Bureau of EMS.
Over their 18 weeks at the FDNY Training Academy, the class was extensively trained in all aspects of their job as firefighters, including fire suppression and medical response, hazardous materials training, collapse and confined space rescue training, auto extrication, building inspections and procedures for engine and ladder operations. The Probationary Firefighters will be assigned to firehouses throughout the city, where they will gain field experience under the guidance of senior Firefighters and Fire Officers.