(Flint, Mich) — Mayor Karen Weaver joined Chief Ray Barton and officials of the Flint Fire Department Friday afternoon to welcome 41 new fire fighters. Proud friends and family members packed into Council Chambers at City Hall to watch as the recruits were sworn in and received their badges.
“This is indeed a great day for the citizens and the City of Flint,” said Mayor Weaver. We know that fighting fires and risking your life to save someone else can be dangerous. I commend these men and women for their bravery and willingness to protect us and our community.”
“This is a job that everyone can’t do,” Weaver continued. “Not everyone would be willing to answer such a call, but these brave men and women are. We are grateful for you and also for Chief Barton who has led the charge to secure much needed funding to train and hire more fire fighters and obtain the equipment necessary for them to do the job the people of Flint deserve.”
The 2017 graduating class includes 36 new recruits, plus five recruited previously. The additions due in large part to the Flint Fire Department being once again awarded the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant after the application, written primarily by Chief Barton and EMS Coordinator, Carrie Edwards-Clemons, was approved last fall.
The SAFER Grant provided $3,767,280 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency allowing the department to restore 33 positions and fill three vacancies. After Friday’s graduation, those 36 positions are officially filled along with five additional vacancies in the department. After months of drills and tests, the 41 candidates have completed their and are now City of Flint fire fighter EMTs and fire fighter EMT trainees.
Chief Barton said this is a big accomplishment for not only the fire department, but for the City and residents.
“This will give us the ability to reopen Fire Station 8, which was browned out over the last three years and opened less than 10 times,” Barton said. “Flint has one of the hardest working fire departments around and the additional staff is just going to make us even better.”
Congratulations to the Flint Fire Department Recruit Class 17-01!