The Cadets of the Fredericktown Community Fire District gathered at the firehouse on Tuesday night, along with them were family and firefighters as they celebrated their graduation from the Cadet Program with a ceremony and dinner. Festivities started out with cadets showing their families around the firehouse and talking about some of the many things that they learned throughout their 10-week training program at the FCFD. The event was put together to acknowledge their work, dedication, and accomplishments.
Those in attendance had the ability to mingle, learn even more about the program, and see just how much their Cadet had grown over the course of the ten weeks that they had been training. After finishing a meal of lasagna, salad, bread, and dessert, the official ceremony was underway.
“It was a pleasure to have your Cadets in this program,” Firefighter Jeremy Moss told those in attendance. “Every time we see them come through the firehouse, they’re one of us. They are already making their mark on the FCFD and we love that.”
Firefighter Moss spent several minutes detailing some of what the Cadets had been through over the course of their training and speak of the satisfaction of the department and how well the Cadets have been doing. He talked of training, activity in the community, the visibility in the public, and the positive perception that is seen of their work. The class started out with nine Cadets at the beginning of summer with a tenth Cadet, Noah Smith joining them partway through the training process. Smith is highly active, however will not be eligible to graduate until completing the full program in 2016.
“The other night on the commercial structure fire we had cadets that stayed behind to work our bingo tent, when the others went on the run,” said Moss. “That’s just one of the sacrifices that we see from them. We were going to have to shut bingo down and they stepped up. They helped run that tent for hours on our busiest night.”
As the families of the Cadets had the opportunity to hear about their accomplishments you could see how proud they were. Cameras flashed as the parents made their way to take photos as Cadets were called forward individually and presented their certificate symbolizing their graduation from the program. One-by-one they made their way down the line of firefighters who instructed them during their training as they shook hands and were congratulated on their work. After a few photos were taken they went back to their seats, but the ceremony was not complete. A final award was picked up from the table and explained. The “Award of Excellence” was created to recognize the Cadet who “exceeded the requirements and expectations of the instructors, and showed exceptional training, teamwork, attitude, and self-discipline.” Voted upon by the instructors on a weekly basis, the Cadets had no idea this was coming, they only focused week to week at putting in hard work. To the instructors there was no doubt in who came out ahead in the competition as Cadet Rhylee Wilson’s name was called to step forward.
“In each class the instructor was to pick a Cadet they thought excelled that night. She got it because she is confident in what she does, she is humble in everything that she does and she is proficient,” said Moss as he beamed with enthusiasm about his Cadets. “If she doesn’t get it the first time, she will probably get it the second time. She refuses to fail and doesn’t like to falter. She is tough to beat and flat our earned that award.”
After the ceremony was completed, the cameras just kept clicking away with smiling faces from Cadets and Firefighters around the firehouse.
Although the 10-week Basic Cadet Training Program is completed, the training will still continue. Back in August the question was posed to the Cadets of how many trainings would they like to have per month, with almost a unanimous decision for two and the desire to attend the regular fire trainings as well.
“We’ll go through the winter months and just keep on training, turn around and have another 10-week program next summer and do it all over again,” said Moss.
Graduating the program were the following:
Dalton Canter- Son of Lew and Heather Canter
Jacob Yoder – Son of Aaron and Julie Yoder
Mason DeChant – Son of James and Leslie DeChant
Riley Dallman – Son of Ladeana Eddy and step-dad Gabe Eddy
Noah Smith – Son of Tim and Melissa Smith
Tyler Williamson – Son of Max and Jennifer Huffman
Haley Rook – Daughter of Aaron and Terri Rook
Rhylee Wilson – Daughter of Carmen Kyle Statzer, also joining her was Kevin Suain
Brandon Hines – Son of Greg Hines
Tyler Hubbell – Son of Lori Hubbell and Mike Newland
The FCFD Cadet Program is open to High School aged youth in the Fredericktown area. If your child is interested in finding out more on the program, please contact Firefighter Jeremy Moss, Cadet Advisor at 740-501-4804