Orange County fire services holds Firefighter 1 graduation

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CHESTER – An Orange County Firefighter 1 graduation ceremony was held this weekend at the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center.

County Executive Steven Neuhaus was joined at the graduation by District Attorney David Hoovler, Sheriff Paul Arteta, County Clerk Kelly Eskew and Commissioner of Emergency Services Brendan Casey.

“I was glad to recognize and congratulate these brave men and women,” said Neuhaus, a past graduate of the County’s Fire Training Program. “We appreciate their commitment to public service and their willingness to risk their own lives to save others. It takes a special person to become a firefighter and I commend the graduates, along with the training instructors, participating fire departments, and their friends and families on being a part of this impressive achievement.”

The six Firefighter 1 graduating classes consisted of 106 residents from various county fire departments.

Firefighter 1 is a comprehensive and intensive introductory course required to become an interior firefighter.

The course is comprised of 129 classroom hours and additional take home assignments. Courses were taught by Orange County fire instructors at the county’s Fire Training Center in New Hampton and entailed lectures and hands on training sessions.

“We are proud of this year’s Firefighter 1 class and the commitment they have made to their communities,” said County Fire Coordinator Vini Tankasali. “The completion of this course illustrates the selfless dedication of each of the graduates and their belief in service to others.”

Residents interested in becoming volunteer firefighters, can contact the county’s Division of Fire Services at