Twenty three new fire recruits graduated from firefighter recruit school during ceremonies held on Friday night, June 30th, in the auditorium at River Ridge High School. The evening began with an invocation by one of the recruits, Oscar Garcia, followed by the presentation of colors by the Cherokee County Fire Honor Guard and the singing of the national anthem by Rebecca Carlisle.
Before the presentation of the certificates of completion, a slideshow was shown and gifts were presented to some of the fire training officers by Cody Fischer, Class Spokesman and Brandon Waltkins, Class Leader. Three special achievement awards were presented to some of the recruits. The recipient of the Pinnacle Award for striving to "reach the top" due to dedication and hard-work in the Firefighter Recruit School Class was presented to Lance Tucker. The W. Clark Waters' Jr. Honor Graduate Award was presented to Brandon Watkins. The award was named on behalf of Clark Waters, a Cherokee County firefighter, who passed away in 2004. The EMS Academic Award was also presented to Lance Tucker.
“Buzz” Ahrens, Chairman of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, came forward to say a few words. Assistant Fire Chief, Eddie Robinson, came forward and congratulated the new recruits and welcomed them to Cherokee County. Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather, encouraged the recruits to keep their faith, family and job as their main priority in their life. Chief Prather then asked the recruits to stand for the firefighter oath and the presentation of their certificates of completion.
Those recruits receiving certificates were: Kevin Bates, Isaac Bjorklund, Dustin Davis, Cody Doyle, Cody Fischer, Oscar Garcia, Josh Gill, Emily Goss, Alex Hines, Austin Hrossowyc, Brooke Ice, Nicholas Leslie, Joshua Long, Alissa Mathes, Matthew Perry, Jeff Satterfield, Michael Turberville, Lance Tucker, Thomas Vermilya, Brandon Watkins, Stephen Wilson, Gerald Wright and Austin Wyatt.