2013 TFD class graduates - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

2013 TFD class graduates

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It's the moment they've waited for six long months.

After rigorous, hands-on and classroom training, 47 men and women because the newest members of the Toledo Fire Department.

"It's a big day," Joseph Bernard Sullivan, an academy graduate said.  "I'm excited."

"I'm feeling fantastic," Antwoine Mister, an academy graduate said.  "I'm looking forward to helping the community."

While looking back on their journey, recruits remembered the triumphs and struggles through the academy.

The biggest hurdle was coping with the loss of their classmate, firefighter Jamie Dickman.

"We got through it and we did it for him," Mister said of Jamie.

"We're really trying to move forward and honor our fallen brother by hitting the streets and working hard in his honor," Sullivan said.

A chair remained empty at the front of the state and Jamie's hat and certificate of completion were given to his family.

"He might be gone, he might have left us, but he's always going to be part of our family and will be treated as such," Chief Luis Santiago, Toledo Fire Department told 13abc.

The Chief touted the groups strength through tragedy.  He sways their dedication to the job and each other shows the kind of firefighters they'll be when they hit the streets.

"Toledo is, I think, blessed to have this class come on scene," said Chief Santiago.  "We've got a good future."

The paths that brought them here are different, but now, they're forever united as firefighters and friends.

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