09/23/14 504 W, 1 I - + 6 - 4 Raleigh Recruit Academy Graduates on Thursday

Raleigh Fire Department Recruit Academy 39 graduates this week from their twenty-eight week fire academy. The ceremony starts at 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. on Thursday night, September 25. The location is Fletcher Opera Theater at the Duke Energy Center in downtown Raleigh. You know, the place we once called Memorial Auditorium. They'll then begin serving six months as probationary firefighters, assigned to engine and ladder companies around the city. 

Their academy started on March 24. Recruitment started in the fall of last year and was conducted both locally and regionally. There were 883 applicants. During their twenty-eight week academy, the recruits have received state certifications on EMT, Firefighter I & II, NCRIT (Rapid Intervention Team), and Hazardous Materials Operation.

They also received training on technical rescue, fire-ground procedures, high-rise operations, accountability systems, safety companies, engine and ladder company operations, and firefighter safety and survival. Plus an extensive physical fitness regiment! (Raise you hand if you still remember what you sang while running in formation, even decades later.)

Training was conducted at the Keeter Training Center, as well as at the Wake County Fire Training Center, Central Carolina Community College Emergency Services Training Center in Sanford, and Gaston College Regional Emergency Services Training Center in Dallas.  


Here’s their breathtaking photo as taken by Jeff Harkey from atop Two Hannover Square on Fayetteville Street. Where have prior academy photos been taken? All over the place. Here's a page of prior photos. (The members of Academy 13 were particularly handsome.) See my RFD history page for other historical academy data.

Jeff Harkey photo

The recruits are almost exclusively from North Carolina, plus one each from Florida and Colorado. They are Jeremy Ardner (Garner), Nicholas Azan (Miami, FL), Emmet Bagwell (Raleigh), Anthony Battaglia (Raleigh), Brian Bello (Fort Collins, CO), Sylvester Brooks (Raleigh), Samuel Brown (Raleigh), Timothy Caldwell (Raleigh), Nicholas Campasano II (Morrisville ), Nicholas Christopoulos (Raleigh), Micah Cobb (Raleigh), Caleb Creech (Zebulon), Christopher Davis (Wendell), Aaron Dickson (Raleigh), and Stedman Greggs (Raleigh).

Along with William Henderson (Durham), Kristopher Hinnant (Selma, NC), Travis Holland (Selma, NC), Hipolito Lara, Jr. (Clinton, NC), Todd Lineberger (Charlotte), Phillip Mack (Raleigh), Mark Mancini (Emerald Isle, NC), Travis Parrish (Henderson, NC), Adam Pearce (Zebulon), Mark Pearce (Cullowhee, NC), Sandra Prier (Raleigh), Al'Landrew Shepperson (Cary), George Smith (Carolina Beach, NC), James Wood (Clayton, NC), and Marshall Wrenn (Charlotte).

Family relations? A number of recruits are related to current and retired members: Bagwell is the son of Battalion Chief Randy Bagwell, and also brother-in-law of Firefighter Jason Lee and cousin of Lt. Rocky Bagwell. Parrish is the son of Firefighter Scott Parrish, and also the nephew of Lt. Donald Williams. Holland is the fiancé of Firefighter Kelly Lamotta, and cousin of Firefighter Davie Hodge. Hinnant is the son-in-law of Capt. Bill Melina. Davis is the son-in-law of retired Battalion Chief Jerry Pace. Pearce is the nephew of retired Capt. Tim Pearce. Memo to self, update my Raleigh Fire Department family tree (see this PDF doc)!

Congratulations to all!

The ceremony starts at 6:00 p.m., not at 7:00 p.m. as previously noted.
Correction - 09/23/14 - 11:35

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