The Bristol Tennessee Fire Department recently honored nine new firefighters with a graduation and awards ceremony at the Central Fire Station. The ceremony was followed by a reception for the graduates and their guests.
The firefighters began their employment on July 3rd and immediately began a rigorous 10-week Basic Fire Academy, commonly referred to as “Rookie School.” The state certified program of instruction employed both classroom and skills training while preparing the rookie firefighters for achieving Tennessee Firefighter I status upon successfully completing both a written exam and practical skills evaluation. The in-house academy was conducted primarily by State of Tennessee certified instructors from the Bristol Tennessee Fire Department, the Piney Flats Volunteer Fire Department, and Bristol Virginia Fire Department. Eastman Chemical Company provided additional training facilities for specialized classes.
Assistant Fire Chief and Training Officer Mike Carrier voiced his enthusiasm with the new group of firefighters by stating, “This group of trainees demonstrated a level of performance and team efforts that remained extremely high throughout all phases of the academy.” Firefighter Anthony Sutherland earned class academic honors and addressed those attending on behalf of the graduating class.
The newly trained firefighters will provide additional manpower needed to staff a new fire station scheduled to open in late October and will enhance the department’s ability for providing the highest level of Fire and Emergency Medical Services. Fire Chief Bob Barnes provided opening remarks and also concluded the ceremony by presenting certificates to each of the graduates that included Sutherland, Cole Bowers, Aundrea Gaddis, Robert Gile, Jason Hilton, Benjamin Little, Austin Mason, Christopher Morrison, and Chris Trivette.