FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro presided over the graduation for 133 Probationary Firefighters on Sept. 29 during a special ceremony at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn.
This graduating class of Probationary Firefighters represented the increasing diversity of the Department, with roughly 41 percent identifying as people of color – including 14 % as Black, 27% as Hispanic, and .2 % as Asian. Two women also graduated, as well as 36 veterans from all branches of the military. In addition, three Probationary Firefighters are children of FDNY members who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“For the last 18 weeks, these Probationary Firefighters have worked hard, enduring grueling training and intensive instruction to ensure they become the best Firefighters in this country. You have all been trained to fight fires and to answer the call for whatever emergency that comes your way. You are ready to protect your fellow New Yorkers and have shown the necessary integrity and fortitude to get to this day. The jobs you are faced with may seem daunting right now, but know that every single member of our Department has been where you are right now. Every career as a New York City Firefighter begins by taking an oath of service, a solemn promise to do whatever you can to save the lives of others. That moment was the first step on a road of bravery, as you have committed yourself to a career that many dream of, but few can actually achieve. It is for this reason that our members are held to a higher standard, charged with doing the right thing, on and off the job, no matter what. That is why we’ve earned the name ‘The Bravest,’ a reputation that has been proven by so many men and women who came before you. A lifetime of reward and fulfillment is yours to come. Continue to make us all proud, and congratulations,” said Commissioner Nigro.
FDNY Chief of Department Thomas Richardson added, “You are now prepared to continue your journey as New York City Firefighters. We have very high expectations of you. The core values of the FDNY are service, bravery, safety, honor, dedication and preparedness. These values are our heart and soul. I look forward to meeting you out in the field. Congratulations to you and God bless you all.” FDNY Chief of Fire Operations John Hodgens said, “Congratulations to all of you for completing this very significant achievement. Probationary Firefighter School is not an easy task and all of you worked extremely hard to make it to this graduation ceremony. This is more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle. You are now and forever one of us.”