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CT Fire Academy Recruit Class #68 Graduation

By BERNIE MEEHAN, Senior Correspondent | December 10, 2021 | CONNECTICUT

Story No. 121221100

BLOOMFIELD, CT - On December 10, 2021, the Connecticut Fire Academy graduated its 68th Recruit Firefighter Class, which was held at the First Cathedral in Bloomfield, CT.

These graduate firefighters represented 21 fire departments from across the State of Connecticut. The program is 15-and-a-half weeks of extensive fire service training, held at the Windsor Locks Fire Academy, as well as off site at various locations, including the Litchfield County Fire School in Torrington. 

As usual, State Fire Administrator Jeff Morrissette gave the opening remarks, after which the recruits were marshaled into the 3,000 seat assembly hall by the Connecticut Firefighters Pipes and Drums and CT Firefighters Honor Guard. Kelly-Ann Clark sang a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem, and the Reverend Diann Bailey delivered the Invocation. Instructor David Christoff gave the keynote speech, reflecting on his more than 40 years of being involved in Connecticut's fire service.

A number of awards were presented, including the following: The Michael C. Reilly Hard Charger Award-Manchester Firefighter Lauren Mazzoni; Instructor Award-Fairfield Firefighter Caitlin Pereira & West Hartford Firefighter Vince Avarista; The William J. DeFord Health & Fitness Award-Torrington Firefighter Stephanie Scoville.

Each recruit graduated and then received their honors by their department Chief and various fire service family members. Recruit Luis Olivares of the Bridgeport Fire Department was the class spokesman and brought down the house with his sense of humor and description of his experience at the academy.

The recruits were then dismissed by Instructor Christoff to be sent back to their departments and begin their careers. 

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.