HOWELL – The Monmouth County Fire Academy on Route 33 recently graduated three classes of first-time firefighters from the Firefighter 1 program.
Class 114, 115 and 116 put in 172 hours over the course of 32 sessions, receiving training in rescue, fire extinguishing, hazardous materials response, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, electrical safety, and care of hoses, ladders and other equipment.
“As graduates of this fine program you will embark on a rewarding path of public service on behalf of your friends, your neighbors and your community,” Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley said in his address to the class. “By virtue of becoming a volunteer firefighter you have already gone above and beyond the call of duty. Be assured it is not something we forget or take lightly. I congratulate each and every one of you and on behalf of those you will protect, I thank you for your dedication to saving lives and property.”
A graduate from each class was eligible for the Ronald Fitzpatrick Award, named in memory of a former Monmouth County Fire Academy instructor who died in the line of duty in 2003. In Class 116, graduates Richard J. Marrone and Christopher Radmonovich both excelled in classroom and practical training and tied for the award. The award recipient for Class 114 was Peter P. Realmuto, Jr. and for Class 115 it was Robert M. Lange.
The graduation ceremony for the 58 firefighters was attended by Monmouth County Fire Marshal Kevin A. Stout and Fire Academy Director Anthony Avillo, as well as Freeholder John P. Curley, Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone and Freeholder Serena DiMaso, Esq.
“I am very proud of all of our graduates, but these classes are special because they mark the transition to Monmouth County’s new Fire Training Facility,” said Stout in a statement. “I am confident that that our upgraded infrastructure has provided a solid foundation on which these men and women can build their firefighting careers. They have completed the best and most comprehensive training available from highly qualified instructors.”
Thousands of firefighters receive training from and graduate from the Monmouth County Fire Academy every year. For more information about the facility, go to visitmonmouth.com.