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Press Releases / 2003 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 12, 2003


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today presided over a graduation ceremony for 346 Probationary Firefighters, the largest group to ever graduate the FDNY Fire Academy. The new Firefighters, or “Probies,” have successfully completed the rigorous 13-week training program at the FDNY Training Facility located on Randall’s Island, designed to prepare them for the many challenges that lie ahead. Several hundred family members and friends of the graduating class joined the Mayor and Commissioner at the ceremony at Brooklyn College.

“After months of comprehensive and intense training, these new Firefighters are joining the ranks of the most elite fire department in the world,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
“The FDNY and its members protect this City with courage, dignity and excellence. I am confident that today’s graduates, who are joining the best-equipped and trained fire department ever, will selflessly serve their fellow New Yorkers with the professionalism that typifies the FDNY.”

“I want to congratulate each of the 346 graduates here today. You have completed your training at the Rock and are now entering the field as firefighters,” said Commissioner Scoppetta. “Although your time at the training academy is complete, your education has just begun. Each day you are in the firehouse, you will build upon the foundation provided by your instructors. Continue the focus and dedication as you serve the people of the City of New York.”

While at the Fire Academy, the “Probies” learned firefighting techniques such as basic engine and truck operation, fire suppression and containment, and also received Haz-Mat and Terror Awareness training. This was the first class to train at the academy using the new $45 million state-of-the-art fire training facility. The renovation includes a 6,000 square foot Burn Building, a 35,000 square foot Field House containing a fire-fighting simulator and a 35,000 square foot Learning Center. The new firefighters will now be assigned to firehouses throughout the City to complete their one-year probationary period under the guidance of senior firefighters and officers.

Probationary Firefighter Christopher Hyden earned the honor of class valedictorian, and Probationary Firefighters Brian Cavanagh and James Sabol earned the honor of class salutatorian. Probationary Firefighter Anthony Weit earned the Physical Fitness Award. In keeping with tradition, the class also presented a check to FDNY Chief of Training Nicholas Santangelo to be donated to the Thomas Elsasser Scholarship Fund, a fund that assists the families of firefighters that die while not in the line of duty.

Contact: Francis X. Gribbon (FDNY) (718) 999-2056
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958

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