13.5 C
Niagara Falls
Saturday, September 30, 2023
2023 class of NOTL firefighter grads earn their black helmets
The 2023 class of NOTL's graduating volunteer firefighters. SUPPLIED

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for the 2023 batch of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s volunteer firefighters.

Eleven of NOTL’s volunteer firefighters received their black helmets on Saturday morning for completing the town’s 300-hour training program for firefighters and emergency service workers.

“As a recruit, you’re typically running with the yellow helmet and then at graduation, we hand over a black helmet,” fire chief Jay Plato told The Lake Report.  

Each graduate received a certificate as well, Plato said.

Plato, deputy fire chief Darren Trostenko and Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa spearheaded the ceremony with individual speeches to the new recruits.

“It makes us proud that we’re able to still retain, to train, attract and recruit firefighters,” Plato said.

“The volunteer model is important to the community,” he added.

Plato described the cycle of training and preparing volunteer firefighters as a “non-stop process,” with people coming and going with the completion of the program.

He added that the town’s fire department offers continued learning opportunities to incentivize graduates to stay with the town. 

There were almost 100 people at the ceremony, Plato estimated, between the graduating class, their fellow firefighters and the families who support them.

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