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SAFD recruit graduation

Fifteen San Angelo Fire Department cadets will formally graduate from the academy at a ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, April 28, at the McNease Convention Center. The public is invited.

The new firefighters are Taylor Jordan, Tyler New, Eric Bryan, Matthew Valdez, Darren Griffin, Clint Holik, Dalton Womack, James Neely, Cody Weiershausen, Jarret DeBusk, John Sanchez, Santos Chavez, Casey Madigan, Kolby Lee and Travis Holle.

The ceremony marks the end of 16 months of training for the recruits, during which they underwent the equivalent of four years of college paramedic training in 10 months at Howard College, passed a national registry exam to earn emergency medical technician and paramedic certifications, attended fire school to learn proper emergency responses, and were taught basics of driving fire apparatus.

 “Our fire academy is rigorous; it has to be,” Fire Chief Brian Dunn said. “Firefighters face challenges and a heavy responsibility each day on the job. That duty demands we be prepared to the nth degree. That these men have successfully navigated those 16 months of training speaks volumes about their commitment to serve. And we’re as eager to have their service as they are to give it.”

During Friday night’s commencement at the Convention Center, 501 Rio Concho Drive, Dunn will administer oaths to the recruits before a loved one will pin their badges on their uniforms.  Once assigned to a fire station, the graduates will receive additional fire training, intensive supervision and valuable experience from their colleagues.

Although the date of the next fire academy and the testing for that academy has not yet been determined, applications are accepted year-round. To apply for the fire academy, go to or Application packets are also available in the Human Resources offices on the second floor of City Hall, 72 W. College Ave.

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