POSTED: Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 10:24am
UPDATED: Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 10:37am
Longview, TX — Eleven Longview firefighters earned an additional title Wednesday after graduating from the city fire department’s first-ever police academy.
Among a crowd of more than 100 family, friends, city and county officials, the firefighters — along with three Gregg County Airport Public Safety deputies and a White Oak Police Department employee — were awarded peace officer diplomas. All 15 graduates are certified or volunteer firefighters.
In a charge to the graduating class, Chief J.P. Steelman said he was proud of each student who powered through the academy and thanked them for their service.
“This equipped each of you to respond no matter what the call. You are ready to respond if it’s an EMS call, fire call or law enforcement call. This diversified you all,” Steelman said. “Continue to use your abilities. Thank you for what you have done, are doing and what you will do.”
In a speech to the class, Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary, who graduated as well, said the course will help with interagency collaboration.
“We help people; that’s what we love doing. It’s helping people on their bad days,” Zackary said.
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