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Press Releases / 2004 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 08, 2004


Graduating Class Increases Number of Firefighters Hired Since 9/11 to 2,700

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today presided over a graduation ceremony for 286 Probationary Firefighters. The new Firefighters, or “Probies,” have successfully completed the rigorous 12-week training program at the FDNY Training Academy located on Randall’s Island. Today’s class increases the number of firefighters hired since September 11, 2001 to 2,700. Among the graduates are two brothers and one female. Today’s Probie class also has a 15% minority representation. Several hundred friends and family members joined the Mayor and Commissioner to congratulate the first class of 2004 at the ceremony held at Brooklyn College.

“Every day, the Fire Department grows stronger,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “On September 11, 2001 the FDNY met its greatest challenge, evacuating 25,000 people from the World Trade Center with the courage and professionalism that won admiration from people around the world. We honor the 343 men we lost that day by keeping the ranks of the FDNY strong and ensuring that our firefighters have the resources necessary to continue to protect the residents of this great City. I congratulate our newest firefighters on becoming New York’s Bravest. I welcome you to a great family and I thank you for answering the call of duty.”

“Congratulations to all of today’s graduates. You have successfully completed the first step in your careers as firefighters and join the ranks of those proud to wear the uniform,” said Commissioner Scoppetta. “As you enter the ranks of the Bravest, you take with you the foundation that was built by your instructors at the Fire Academy. Throughout your careers, you will fall back on that training and you will pass that knowledge on to others that come after you. Train everyday and the learning process never ends. Today is only the start of something incredibly special. Serve the people of New York well.”

While in training at the Fire Academy, the “Probies” learned firefighting techniques such as basic engine and truck operations, fire suppression and containment, hazardous materials training, and terrorism awareness. The “Probies” will now be assigned to firehouses throughout the City, where they will gain field experience under the guidance of senior firefighters and officers. In keeping with tradition, the class-donated money to a number of FDNY related charities, including the Firefighter Thomas Brick Memorial Fund.

Probationary Firefighter Jon-Michael Sommeso earned the honor of today’s class Valedictorian, and Probationary Firefighter James J. Denn was the class Salutatorian. The Physical Fitness Award was given to Probationary Firefighter Jonathan E. Summers.

Contact: Francis X. Gribbon (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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