GARY — The city of Gary officially welcomed 13 newly-trained firefighters to the department during a graduation ceremony at the Genesis Convention Center.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Council President Ron Brewer joined Fire Chief Paul Bradley and members of the Gary Fire Department in congratulating the 12 male graduates and one female graduate who were sworn in to the Fire Department in February last year. The firefighters began training at the Gary Fire Academy in September.
The candidates underwent six and a half months of rigorous and extensive fire and EMS training qualifying the bakers dozen to participate in graduation. Graduates include:
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Richard Antonio Spencer; Ashley Stewart; Robert Robinson; Rodney Mitchell Jr.; Curtis Lemar Johnson; Justin Elliot Webb; Demario Marke-Allen Richardson; Kevin Michael Williamson Jr.; Walter Trout; Tyrone Lemar Jackson; Colin Joseph Jamrok; Kyle R. Kronland and Michael C. Schneider.
“We are happy to again welcome these men and woman to the Gary Fire Department this time as official firefighters," Freeman-Wilson said. "While we lost two candidates at the beginning, but we also gained two. This is a good indicator that there is still an interest in the fire profession. It is also representative of the city’s commitment to respond to the needs of the community.”
Along with city officials, the firefighters were joined by family and friends at the event. Council members Mary Brown, Linda Barnes-Caldwell and LaVetta Sparks-Wade also shared in the celebration.