Alexandria Fire Department Graduates Largest Firefighter Recruit Class

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For immediate release: August 31, 2010


WHEN:            SEPTEMBER 3, 2010, 10:00 am


WHERE:          T. C. Williams High School, 3330 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22302




WHAT:                        Friday, September 3, 2010, the City of Alexandria Fire Department will hold a graduation ceremony for its 38th Fire Academy class. This is the largest recruit class in the department’s history that has run through the Academy. The graduating class of Firefighter/Rescuer recruits almost equals the total number of firefighters required to minimally staff a shift of fire suppression personnel. The thirty one recruits underwent strenuous classroom, skills, and physical training regiments.  Members of the 38th Fire Academy Class is made up of diverse backgrounds in work and education. There is a former airline pilot, two school teachers, a farmhand, a former U. S. Senator staff member, a stay at home dad, three certified fitness trainers, and more. Educational backgrounds range from recruits with some college education to persons with Masters Degrees.


According to Melvin Byrne, the Division 7 Chief of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, the members of this class did very well academically.  "On the Fire Firefighter 1 test four members achieved scores of 100%. Seldom do I have one person in a class, and never have I had four from the same class score 100's on that test. This speaks volumes about the selection process and the quality of instruction" said Byrne. Members of this class were also contributors to workout video presentations done on Lieutenant Patrick Evans explained the routines while several of the recruits demonstrated the movements.  The video segments were aired on as part of Health, Safety and Survival Week from June 20 through June 26 of this year.


The Academy staff used a collegiate format as opposed to the more traditional military style for providing instruction and implementing any corrective actions that were needed. This format was successful through the creation of teambuilding skills within the class which aided each member to successfully complete the process. They leave the Academy to begin their probationary year and their long standing careers with the Alexandria Fire Department.


For more information, contact Dwayne Bonnette, Battalion Chief/Alexandria Fire Department, at 703.746.4650 or