FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND FIRE COMMISSIONER SCOPPETTA PRESIDE OVER GRADUATION CEREMONY FOR 175 PROBATIONARY FIREFIGHTERS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today presided over a graduation ceremony for 175 Probationary Firefighters. The new Firefighters, or “Probies,” graduated after completing the rigorous 13-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 the third class of 2006 at the ceremony held at Brooklyn College.
“Today, you join the ranks of New York’s Bravest,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “You follow in the footsteps of the brave men and women who have answered the call to serve our City. Some of you joined the Department as part of a family tradition and others begin a new tradition today – one of honor and service to your fellow New Yorkers. As you begin your careers in firehouses throughout the City, we commend you, and we pledge our full support.”
“The New York City Fire Department is a family that spans 142 years,” said Fire Commissioner Scoppetta. “In this family, the past and future are always linked. Yesterday, we marked with great sorrow the passing of 343 of the Bravest. Today we open our arms to 175 more.”
This class represents every branch of the armed forces, with 12 members having previously served in the U.S. military: Dwight Capasso (USMC), Joseph Cruz (USMC), James Feigenbutz (Air Force), Michael Lynam (Army), Robert Macchia, Jr. (USMC), Joseph Maurus, Jr. (Navy), John Meaney (USMC), Raul Ramirez (Coast Guard), Rolando Romero (USMC), Jason Russo (USMC), Joseph Schutta (USMC) and Scott Specht (National Guard). Probationary Firefighters Meany, Russo, Schutta and Specht served overseas in Iraq as well.
Probationary Firefighter John Norman, son of Chief of Special Operations Command John Norman, and Probationary Firefighter Salvatore Scafuri earned the honor of today’s valedictorians. Probationary Firefighter Paul Hoekzema was the class Salutatorian. The Physical Fitness Award was given to Probationary Firefighter Raymond Cuadrado.
The graduating class raised $3,000 for the families of Lt. Howard J. Carpluk, Jr. and Firefighter Michael C. Reilly, both of whom died while responding to a third-alarm fire in the Bronx on August 27, 2006. In addition, the class served as the honor-guard at both the Fire Department’s September 11th memorial service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and yesterday at the City’s fifth anniversary commemoration ceremony at the World Trade Center site.
While in training at the Fire Academy, the Probationary Firefighters learned firefighting techniques such as basic engine and truck operations, fire suppression and containment, hazardous materials training, and terrorism awareness. The Probationary Firefighters will now be assigned to firehouses throughout the City, where they will gain field experience under the guidance of senior firefighters and officers.
Stu Loeser/Virginia Lam (212) 788-2958
Francis X. Gribbon (Fire Department)
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