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Video: Worcester Recruits Graduate Fire Academy

WORCESTER — They will wear green shields on their helmets for about a year, but the 29 recruits who graduated this week from the Fire Department’s spring 2016 fire academy will start learning on the job at 8 a.m. Sunday.

The shields help fire commanders and officers identify the new firefighters at incidents so they aren’t thrust into situations alone that they haven’t encountered before, Deputy Chief John F. Sullivan said Friday.

The class, which includes two women, this week completed a 14-week academy training, but starting this weekend they will now be rotated through stations around the city so they can become familiar with the types of equipment, vehicles and neighborhoods they will serve in. All along their one-year probationary period, which includes their academy training, they will be under the watch of active sworn officers in the department. At the end of their probation, they will be evaluated, and if they are deemed fit to continue on the job, they will be permanently assigned, Deputy Chief Sullivan said.

The deputy chief said the academy graduates will help bolster a department running low on personnel because of attrition. The 29 new firefighters still leave the department 16 firefighters short of the authorized complement of 406 firefighters. Another recruit class in the fall will further shore up staffing, he said. The last fire academy was held in 2014, Deputy Chief Sullivan said.

The academy graduation was held Thursday at Worcester Technical High School in front of friends, family and city officials, the deputy chief said.

The spring 2016 graduates are: Anthony Boss, Cameron Brigham, Jason Charest, Daniel Chicoine, Richard Claros, Nicholas Curci, Alexandria Dahlstrom, Ronald Donaghy, James Foley, Timothy Fontaine, Arash Frazier, Joshua Gonzalez, Taylor Kapulka, Timothy Lawrence, Nicholas Lawton, Melissa Mercadante, Steven Nims, Timothy O’Rourke, Jon Paul Paige, Blake Perron, Kyle Peterson, Michael Reynolds, Christopher Roy, Andrew Sacco, Simon Severance, Andrew Staruk, Mathew Toscano, James Turner and Michael Waller.

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