Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Last week the County of Lexington and its firefighters joined together to celebrate the accomplishments of 15 new recruits who graduated from their first firefighter recruit school of 2019. Class 19-01 gathered in the council chambers of the administration building in front of their families, co-workers, and dignitaries to receive their coveted badges and station assignments. This was by no means a gift; it was hard earned.
Since their first day in recruit school, these young men have exercised, trained, and poured sweat as they prepared for a lifetime of service. They learned to load hose correctly so it comes off a truck with great speed. They’ve learned to properly raise a ladder, use a fire rake, and different hand hooks used for pulling, pushing, and prodding. They’ve also been trained in medical first response, something that will be the majority of their runs as they report for their shifts. CPR, the control of bleeding, airway management, and the immobilization of the spine are all techniques they may be called on to use at any time after the reporting that first morning. It’s like a college education, a science, a lot to take in and a lot to master.
As the ceremony was held, the colors were presented, some speeches were made, but the highlight of the event had to be when these 15 marched in wearing their best dressed uniforms. This was an extremely proud moment for them and their loved ones as they became official. Families beamed and you could see on the livestream the straight spines, the bowed chest of the extremely honored graduating class.
The learning isn’t over, it never stops. They will learn from the older, more experienced firefighters who have been there and seen more. Many will actively play a part in saving lives while others, millions in property. Most will do both as they ride the streets of Lexington County doing what most others wouldn’t do. They’ll run in while others run out, forward when others retreat, and into battle ready to fight back the soldiers of disaster, whatever that emergency may be. When they think they’ve seen it all, the next bizarre thing will come along.
Lexington County Council Chairman Scott Whetstone has said many times that the council is committed to reinforcing the firefighters we already have on the street as a part of their efforts to increase and strengthen the core functions of government. This group is just one more positive step in that direction.
Congratulations to the Lexington County Fire Service’s Recruit Class 01-19 graduates.