The Sedalia Fire Department Fire Fighter 1 and 2 Program graduated thirteen students on Tuesday night, in a ceremony held at the Celebration Center.

The Fire Fighter 1 and 2 class is a six month program and at the end, it gives the graduates the opportunity to test for Missouri State Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, Hazmat awareness, and Hazmat Operations certifications. According to Daniel Shaw, the lead instructor of the Sedalia course, those four areas are needed in order to begin a career as a firefighter.

The graduates from Tuesday night are the second class from Sedalia. Shaw said the course runs from September through March.

In a speech from keynote speaker, Deputy Chief Greg Harrell, he said the graduates work regular jobs throughout the week and still attend 8-hours of coursework. The graduates also attended 8-hour courses, every other Saturday, as part of the program.

Harrell said that firefighters serve the public and believe in what they do. "It's not just a job. We serve."

During his remarks, Shaw emphasized the sacrifice, heart, and pride that it takes to be a firefighter.

The thirteen graduates consist of:

Alpha Squad: Caleb Auxier, Cody Kratzer, Brett Lockard, and Joshua McCameron.

Bravo Squad: Dmitriy Garnik, Brian Keith, and Lucas McNeal.

Charlie Squad: Joseph Arnold, Bradley Burton, Justin Hilliard, and Dan Miller.

Delta Squad: Matt Leinberger and Caleb Morrison.

Some of the members received special individual awards. Dan Miller received an award for having the best time on the PT test, with a time of 3 minutes, 4 seconds. Miller also placed first in the skills challenge.

Bradley Burton received the award for being the top academic student.

Dmitriy Garnik received special recognition for his help with translating Russian on three-separate ride-along trips, when the SFD needed a translator in each instance.

Justin Hilliard received the overall top-of-the class award.

Randy Kirby