41st Wilmington Fire Academy Graduates 25 New City Firefighters
July 20, 2021
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and Fire Chief John M. Looney welcomed 25 new firefighters to the Wilmington Fire Department (WFD) during a public multi-jurisdictional graduation ceremony held Saturday at Abessinio Stadium in Wilmington. The ceremony included for the first time the graduation of probationary firefighters from nearby Chester (Pa.) and Upper Darby (Pa.) Fire Departments.
Fire Chief Loony salutes probationary firefighter Lamar Wilson during 41st Recruit class graduation Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Abessinio Stadium in Wilmington, DE. Photo By Saquan Stimpson
In all, 40 firefighters graduated from the 41st Wilmington Fire Academy, which occurred during the 100th anniversary year of the WFD. These included 10 from the City of Chester and five from Upper Darby. A list of the graduates is included as part of this release. The ceremony, hosted by the Wilmington Fire Department, included the presentation of badges, and fire and EMT Certifications, as well as the Oath of Office, administered by Deputy Chief Gabriel Pabon.
Mayor Mike Purzycki gives remarks during the 41st Recruit class graduation in front of family and friends Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Abessinio Stadium in Wilmington, DE. Photo By Saquan Stimpson
Mayor Purzycki congratulated the recruits for successfully meeting the requirements of the academy to begin their career as a firefighter, “certainly among the noblest of professions,” while also acknowledging their families. In honoring the memory of late Wilmington Battalion Chief Mike Schaal (Ret.), who passed away July 8, the Mayor told the graduates “you are not entering a profession or a department as much as you are entering a family joined by your aspirations to help others and bound together by the shared challenges and heroism of your chosen profession.”
Family and Friends watch the 41st Recruit class graduation from the stands Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Abessinio Stadium in Wilmington, DE. Photo By Saquan Stimpson
Those in attendance at Saturday’s ceremony included friends and family members of the new firefighters, retired and serving Wilmington firefighters, invited guests and members of the public. Chief Looney told the class that “hard work, commitment, perseverance, and dedication equals success. All of you have proved to be successful. Each recruit was pushed beyond his or her comfort level in the classroom, drill grounds, and during daily physical training accomplishing so much.”
Wilmington Fire probationary firefighters watch the 41st Recruit class graduation ceremony in front of family and friends Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Abessinio Stadium in Wilmington, DE. Photo By Saquan Stimpson
The new Wilmington firefighters are Dishay White, Ashley Bailey, Patrick Looney, Omar Ramos, Mitchell Brown, Lamar Wilson, Alexandra Ortiz, Robert Nicholson III, Michael Julia Jr., Shawn Humphrey, Haseeb Durrani, Jayson McDuffie-Jones, Gia Tyler O’Keefe, Zachary Millis, Shajuan Joyner, Vincent Groelly, Thomas Berl, Brandon Copes, Amanda Carey, Aaron Guhl, Paolo Miguel Javillo, Emmanuel Viera, Matthew Tiger, Scott Myers and Maxwell Krug.
Wilmington Fire Vincent J. Groelly received a special recognition during graduation in front of family and friends Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Abessinio Stadium in Wilmington, DE.
Wilmington graduates who received special recognition for extraordinary accomplishments during the 41st Fire Academy were Vincent Groelly, who received the Academic Award; Mitchell Brown received the Physical Fitness Award; Dishay White received the Most Improved Recruit Award; and Scott Myers received the Chief’s Award.
To become City firefighters the recruits had to complete an intense 14-week training academy commanded by Battalion Chief Gordon Davis, his staff Captain Matthew Marsella, and Lieutenant Laurence Hinds that included work in the classroom, on drill grounds, and out on the street. The 25 firefighters were among more than 250 applicants who began the process last October to become firefighters. Upon completing the academy, each recruit attained national certification as Pro Board Fire Fighter Levels I and II (NBFSPQ) and National Register Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT). The 25 new graduates bring the Fire Department up to its authorized strength of 156 firefighters.
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The City of Chester Fire graduates are Aishla Delgado, Dominic Dimemmo, Adrian Toro, Colin Flanagan, Erik Garret, Owen MacFawn, Matthew Morgan, Thomas Morris, Nicholas Vader and Timothy Plant.
The Upper Darby Fire Department graduates are William Garges Jr., Tyler White-Burke, Joseph Chetalo, Dylan Haberle and Timothy McMinn.