All New Graduates Were Promoted From Positions As EMTs, Paramedics

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week presided over a graduation ceremony for 285 probationary FDNY firefighters.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, it was the first class of new FDNY firefighters to graduate in almost 4 1/2 years. A court case caused the city to suspend training the new firefighters, known as “probies.”

Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said medically speaking, this is a very special group.

“We got 285 EMTs and paramedics that took a promotional exam that are now New York City firefighters,” Cassano said. “They went through a grueling 18 weeks of training. I told them the day they started, it would be the most difficult 18 weeks of their life.”

Forty percent of the new firefighters are also of minority backgrounds, the city sad. Thirteen percent are African-American, 23 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent Asian.

The class also includes five women – the most women in a probationary firefighter class in more than 30 years.

Twenty-six graduates have also served in the U.S. Military, with six having served in combat.

The graduation ceremony was held on Friday.

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