Nineteen Firefighters Graduate Recruit Training

Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services (CCFES) held a graduation ceremony for nineteen recruits at Woodstock First Baptist Church in Woodstock, GA Friday evening, April 12th.

The graduation began at 7:00 p.m. with a welcome from Division Chief, Daniel Carder and invocation by Fire Chaplain Dana McPherson. Fire Apparatus Operator Jedidiah Martin sang the National Anthem as our nation’s colors were presented by the public safety honor guard.

Of the nineteen recruits graduating, Ian Banks and Jacob Householder were selected as spokespersons for the group, addressing those in attendance at the ceremony. Banks thanked the instructors that helped train the class and the support staff that assisted them in succeeding through their recruit training. Householder enlightened the audience with stories about his class’s time in recruit training.

Three awards were presented to select graduates Friday night. Recruit Instructor Jim Laughlin presented the Douglas Clark Waters Jr. Award to Charles Toburen. This award was named after Sergeant Douglas Clark Waters Jr, a Cherokee County career firefighter who passed away in the line of duty in 2003 while serving as a volunteer firefighter at the Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department.

The Pinnacle Award was presented by Instructor and retired Battalion Chief, Tom Pelletier. The Pinnacle Award is the highest achievement a recruit can obtain. The recipient is selected by the instructors, and this year’s award was presented to Jacob Householder. 

The Jill Mabley Star of Life Award was presented by Instructor Sandra Johnson. This award is named after longtime Medical Director Jill Mabley MD, FACEP who served as the CCFES Medical Director for two decades. This year’s recipient was Rickey Fairchild, and he was selected for his excellent work during his Advanced EMT training.

Kevin Lanier, Deputy Chief of Operations, came to the podium next. He spoke to the recruits about the importance of a work-life balance, reminding the graduates about the sacrifice their families make to allow them to pursue this profession. Lanier went on to thank the members of the department and spoke about the heroic accomplishments the members of CCFES make each day. He shared a quote from his father, retired Captain Bill Lanier of Atlanta Fire & Rescue and Fulton County Fire Department, “if you want a career that’s rewarding, just wait until you have your first job (structure fire) where you make a good stop. There’s nothing more rewarding than that feeling.”

Deputy Chief of Support Services, Shane West, congratulated the graduates and told them to always remember the passion they have right now. “They (the public) don’t get to choose who shows up when they call 9-1-1,” West said.

CCFES Fire Chief Eddie Robinson was the final speaker to come to the podium. He thanked the training staff for their outstanding work preparing the graduates for their careers. Robinson addressed the audience and the graduates, sharing advice for success as a career firefighter. He ensured the audience that CCFES is an aggressive fire department with members that are mission focused. Robinson recognized the active and retired firefighters, police officers, 911 operators, and veterans in the audience for their service to their communities and our nation.

Chief Robinson swore the graduates in as Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Firefighters. Family and friends of the graduates joined their firefighters at the stage to pin their badges on.

The recruits graduating were Ian Banks, Steven Barrett, Nicole Collett, Rickey Fairchild, Kianna Fournier, Brayden Hamilton, Tyler Harris, Jacob Householder, Nicholas Janflone, Kevin Jones, Jeremiah Lutz, Payton McCluskey, Landon Miller, Isaiah Powell, David Senegal, Caleb Strunk, Tyler Thomas, Charles Toburen, and Jaden Walker.

These recruits endured eight months of training and graduated with the credentials of Firefighter II and Advanced Emergency Medical Technician. They begin working in field operations on Sunday, April 14, 2024, in various stations throughout Cherokee County.


Group photo: 

From left: 1st row: Chris Ginn, Tom Pelletier, Kianna Fournier, Nicole Collett, Jeremiah Lutz, David Senegal, Caleb Strunk, Jaden Walker, Cassidy Herrin.

2nd row: Robbie Kennedy, Rickey Fairchild, Brayden Hamilton, Tyler Harris, Steven Barrett, Payton McCluskey, Isaiah Powell, Tyler Thomas, Jim Laughlin, Sandra Johnson.

3rd row: Ian Banks, Jacob Householder, Nicholas Janflone, Kevin Jones, Landon Miller, Charles Toburen.

4th row: Eddie Robinson, Shane West, Drew Champion, Daniel Carder, Dean Floyd, Jimmy Lussier, Kevin Lanier, Mark Orr, Scott Gwinn.

Posted : April 12, 2024

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