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22 new firefighters graduate from Utica Fire Academy

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UTICA, N.Y. – There are 22 new firefighters in New York following a graduation ceremony at the Utica Fire Academy Friday morning.

All of the new firefighters received their badges following 14 weeks of intense training.

The recruits will join various departments across the state, including Amsterdam, Cohoes, Dewitt and Schenectady.

Utica Fire Academy graduation

Three of the graduates will remain local:

  • Patrick Edwards, Herkimer Fire Department
  • Joshua Wellington, Ilion Fire Department
  • Jonathan Miner, MVCC/Mohawk Fire Department

Other graduates:

  • Jason Billington, Amsterdam Fire Department
  • James Repice Jr., Amsterdam Fire Department
  • Thomas Sise Jr., Amsterdam Fire Department
  • Richard Court, Arlington Fire Department
  • Ryan Van Ness, Arlington Fire Department
  • Jennifer Kirkum, Batavia Fire Department
  • John Bonkowski, Cohoes Fire Department
  • Paul Neaton, Cohoes Fire Department
  • Jonathon Gower, Dewitt Fire Department
  • Timothy Haenichen, Dewitt Fire Department
  • Andrea Roy, Dewitt Fire Department
  • Benjamin Winkler, Dewitt Fire Department
  • Michael Barcia, Saratoga Fire Department
  • James Rumbaugh, Schenectady Fire Department
  • Thomas Schettine, Schenectady Fire Department
  • Liam Hilt, Scotia Fire Department
  • Brody Delorenzo, Troy Fire Department
  • Mason Ducharme, Troy Fire Department
  • Etha Yates, Troy Fire Department

Many police and fire agencies have struggled to recruit members lately but Joseph Puleo, captain of training at UFA, says they’re working on outreach efforts.

“It's our job as career firefighters and volunteer firefighters to get out there and educate the public about what the jobs offer, what the career opportunities are, what you can learn, the amount of education you can get; and that I think will drive the volunteers and the career departments to have more applicants for the job,” said Puleo.

The Class of 2022 is the 40th class to graduate from UFA.

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