8 recruits graduate from Fire Academy

After five months of coursework and hands-on training, eight recruits graduated from Capital City Fire/Rescue Fire Academy and became certified firefighters Monday night.

The recruits were feted at a ceremony at Glacier Station once they were sworn in by CCFR Chief Richard Etheridge.

“Congratulations,” Etheridge said in his remarks. “This is the very first step on a long journey. Who knows where this journey is going to take you — the sky’s the limit.”

Members of Class #13-21 retired the green and white ropes they were required to wear around their waist at all times since January in order to practice knots. They traded in their black helmets, reserved for recruits, for yellow ones, reserved for firefighters. One by one, Assistant Fire Chief Ed Quinto pinned shiny silver firefighter badges on their lapels.

“From this day, you have earned the privilege of being a designated firefighter,” Drill Master Bryon Young said in his commencement address.

Fire Training Instructor Nathan Young honored three of the graduates for exceptional effort. Shannon Tikalsky received an academic award for maintaining the highest GPA of the class: 97.1.

“That’s not something that happens by chance,” Young said.

Cheyenne Sanchez received the Instructor’s Choice Award, and Scott Lockie was voted by his fellow recruits to receive the Class Honor man award for his selflessness and commitment to the group.

“Outstanding group of men and women,” Young said after the ceremony. “They’ve very, very deserving of earning that badge.”

The eight graduating academy recruits of Class #13-21 are: Scott Lockie (Class Guide), Carl Fuchs (A Squad Team Leader), Cheyenne Sanchez (B Squad Team Leader), Andrew Garson, Jonathan Germain, Siara Kelly, Donald Law and Shannon Tikalsky.

The fire academy is held once a year and is taught by Young. Eight recruits have graduated each year for the past four years, Young said.

The graduates barked the CCFR motto in unison — “Readiness, Dedication and Service” — before retiring the guidon and shaking hands with all the CCFR officers. Senior Drill Master Erik Goldsberry dismissed the class for the final time.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

Slideshow | Fire Academy Graduation

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