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BCFES holds recruit graduation, promotion ceremony
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Bryan County Fire and Emergency Services held a ceremony for its 2021-22 class of firefighter graduates Oct. 6 at Fire Station 1. During the ceremony, the recruits were named firefighters for the first time and were given their working helmets, complete with name and new rank.

The 2021-22 graduates are (in alphabetical order): 

Firefighter Gabriel Alonso 

Firefighter Parrish Anderson 

Firefighter Jennifer Belanger

Firefighter Noah Bess 

Firefighter Cale Blocker

 Firefighter William Bryon

 Firefighter James Edwards

 Firefighter Camerson Sardinas

 Firefighter Sara Sheffield

 Firefighter Brian Troop.

The recruits attended a 12-week, 480-hour recruit school directed locally by Training Chief Shannon Bancroft. The school covers the basic requirements for the Georgia State Firefighter Certification as well as the initial levels of National Professional Qualifications for Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, and Hazardous Materials. In addition to those basic requirements, the in-house training focuses on discipline, problem solving, and training on the specific equipment they will use daily. This process not only saves money, but exceeds the minimum state standards to provide the residents of Bryan County a higher level of service

Bancroft said to the recruits during the ceremony, “I told you at the beginning that this training would be challenging mentally and physically. Each of you struggled in different areas, but you came together as a team. Now you join a bigger team as firefighters.”

In addition to the new recruits, five existing members of Bryan County Emergency Services were promoted. Summer Patterson is now the Emergency Management Agency deputy chief and Emergency Medical Services division chief; Lee Newton was promoted to battalion chief, and Sarah Bradbury, Joseph Forlenza and Andrew Jacobson were promoted to lieutenant.

Promotion in Bryan County Fire and Emergency Services requires at least a year of experience at an employee’s current rank and training to include National Incident Management System classes and the appropriate National Professional Qualification level of certification for emergency medical technician (EMT) and firefighter.

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