The 2016 Newton County Fire Recruiting class celebrated the graduation of four recruits Nov. 29.
Paul Kendall, Sam Sheppard, Kevin Stadlbauer and Mike Wilson all took the oath of office and received their badges. The special Top Rung Award for outstanding performance both academically and physically went to Sam Sheppard.
The recruits completed 320 hours of basic firefighter training, which included NPQ FF1, NPQ Hazmat Awareness and Operations and NPQ FF2 in eight weeks. The basic training was conducted with an emphasis on the aggressive nature of current fire behaviors and the strategies and tactics needed to effectively combat them.
Additional hours were also added into the training to cover advanced search techniques for rapid victim rescue and removal as well as self-rescue survival methods.
A major increase in training and emphasis was placed on vehicle extrication techniques. This training established fundamental extrication concepts and continued into advanced techniques for more technical and difficult rescue operations.
The training provided to this class not only met, but exceeded state and national standards that are currently taught. All recruits showed a high level of competence and proficiency in all areas and completed all training with no deficiencies.