MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND FIRE COMMISSIONER
NICHOLAS SCOPPETTA PRESIDE OVER GRADUATION CEREMONY
FOR 143 PROBATIONARY FIREFIGHTERS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas
Scoppetta today presided over a graduation ceremony for 143
Probationary Firefighters. The new Firefighters, or “Probies,”
graduated after completing the rigorous 12-week training program
at the FDNY Training Academy located on Randall’s Island.
Several hundred friends and family members joined the Mayor
and Commissioner to congratulate this first class of 2005
at the ceremony held at Brooklyn College.
“I congratulate the latest class of bright and enthusiastic
Probationary Firefighters,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Today’s
graduates join a family of the most professional and courageous
firefighters in the world. The department has grown stronger
than ever – taking on new responsibilities in a post-9/11
world, while also driving down the number of fire deaths last
year to levels not seen since 1919. I am confident that our
newest firefighters will wear their uniforms with pride and
serve their fellow New Yorkers with honor and dedication.”
“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. “The
next lessons will come as you enter the field and respond
to emergencies under the tutelage of experienced firefighters
and officers. Use those lessons to build on the foundation
that has been provided to you by your instructors at the Academy.
Train everyday and the learning process never ends. Today
is the start of something incredibly special. Serve the people
of New York well.”
Among today’s graduates is Probationary Firefighter
Elizabeth Osgood. Firefighter Osgood graduated third in her
class, missing the salutatorian recognition by two-hundredths
of a point. Her academic score is one of the best ever received
by a female probationary firefighter at the Fire Academy.
Overall, FDNY instructors described the group as “exceptionally
smart and motivated,” with none scoring below 85 out
Today’s class also featured three firefighters who
previously served in the military – Probationary Firefighters
Christopher Roberto, Richard Robinson and Joseph Napolitano.
Firefighter Napolitano, who was wounded while serving in Iraq
with the U.S. Marine Corps, still carries shrapnel in his
body. Also graduating were four firefighters who lost loved
ones in the line of duty, including two whose family members
were among the 343 firefighters who gave their lives in the
September 11th attacks.
While in training at the Fire Academy, the “Probies”
learned 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 of New York, where they
will gain field experience under the guidance of senior firefighters
Prior to graduation, the Probationary Firefighter Class organized
an emergency blood drive to support the four firefighters,
Brendan Cawley, Jeffrey Cool, Eugene Stolowski and Joseph
DiBernardo, who were critically injured in January's fatal
Bronx fire. More than 100 units of blood were also collected
on February 1 in honor of Lieutenants Curtis Meyran and John
Bellew and Firefighter Richard Sclafani who died in fires
Probationary Firefighter Robert Cefoli earned the honor of
today’s class Valedictorian, and Probationary Firefighter
Jonathan Ortiz was the class Salutatorian. The Physical Fitness
Award was given to Probationary Firefighter Joseph S. Drury.
Contact: Francis X. Gribbon (FDNY) (718) 999-2056