PHOTOS: Pittsburgh's Newest Firefighters Show Off Skills, Talk Training During COVID-19
For Andrew Koziell, the past 32 weeks have been “trying” as a Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire recruit. The pandemic has posed challenges for the class of 2021 firefighters, but this group persisted through a training season unlike any other.
“I’m tired, but I’m also extremely happy,” Koziell said, holding his daughter alongside family members who attended the outdoor graduation ceremony on Friday. The event included a live skills demonstration at the Pittsburgh Police and Fire Training Academy on Washington Boulevard.
The 2021 class consisted of 23 graduates, a smaller class size than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic safety precautions. City of Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said this graduating class in particular has undergone more intensive training than usual, however, he said this makes them more prepared for the field.
“Get used to it,” Jones joked to recruits as they were sworn in by Mayor Bill Peduto.
After the swearing-in ceremony, the recruits demonstrated their skills and put out a fire at the training facility. They also showed their emergency medical technician skills, something all firefighters are also trained in alongside fire safety.
The new firefighters will join their assigned departments on Monday for their first assignments.
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