Twenty two new fire recruits graduated from firefighter recruit school during ceremonies held last night in the auditorium at River Ridge High School near Woodstock. The evening began with a welcome and introductions by Capt. Scott Deal and the invocation by Fire Chaplain, Don Williams, followed by the presentation of colors by the Cherokee County Fire Honor Guard and the singing of the national anthem by Darrek Cornelison.
Before the presentation of the certificates of completion, a slideshow was shown and gifts were presented to some of the fire training officers by Trevor Newberry, Class Spokesman and Colton Prather, Class Leader. Three special achievement awards were presented to three members of the recruit class. The W. Clark Waters' Jr. Honor Graduate Award was presented to Spencer Williams. The award was named on behalf of Clark Waters, a Cherokee County firefighter, who passed away in 2004. 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 Colton Prather. Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather, came forward to introduce and new award called The Star of Life Award in honor of Dr. Jill Mabley who is currently the Medical Director for the fire department. Prather presented Mabley with a plaque and thanked her for her continued commitment to educate firefighters about emergency medical services in order to provide better care to our citizens. The first Star of Life Award was presented at the recent paramedic graduation this past August, however, Dr. Mabley was unable to attend. Mabley presented the second Star of Life Award last night to Michael Zapeta for putting forth “extra effort”, positively impacting peers and successfully working through challenges in the EMT program.
Assistant Fire Chief, Eddie Robinson, came forward and congratulated the new recruits and welcomed them to the Cherokee County Fire family. Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather, came to the podium and presented L. B. “Buzz Ahrens” with an award and thanked him for his support of the fire department during the past several years. Earlier this year, Ahrens announced that he would not seek re-election to the chairmanship post. After the award presentation to Ahrens, Prather turned his attention to the new graduates and encouraged them to keep their faith, family and job as their main priorities 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: Parker Cazier, Jacob Christian, Pedro Figueroa, Jonathan Fournier, Williston Greene, Evan Halik, Coleman Harris, Deombre Jones, Wesley Korsch, Eric Lusk, Landon McQuillen, Trevor Newberry, Joshua Palmer, Colton Prather, Korey Satterfield, Keven Shelor, Robert Tompkins, Garrett Townsend, David Webb, Spencer Williams, Wayne Williams and Michael Zapeta.
Congratulations to the new graduates!