Press Releases, Student Life

Recruit Firefighter Training Academy Grads Recognized

Students in Nash Community College’s Recruit Firefighter Training Academy #080718 were recognized for program completion in a ceremony held January 23, 2019.

NCC President Dr. Bill Carver thanked fire service agencies for their partnership. “You see the people in uniform here tonight who are supporting these cadets, and helping the College spread the word about the program, lending their expertise,” he said. “This program cannot be done by NCC alone,” he said.

Nash Community College’s fire training program is designed to provide individuals and firefighters the information and skills needed for modern firefighting through a variety of learning experiences and training scenarios.

Doug Bissette, Washington, NC Fire/Rescue/EMS Battalion Chief addressed the graduates. “I want you to know that you will be successful in this career if you can focus on three things: your faith, your family and the fire service. It is imperative that you remember them in that order.”

During the ceremony, Olen Bass of Red Oak Fire Department was honored with the Academic Excellence Award for earning the highest grade point average.

Donte Richardson was recognized with the Flame Award, an honor given to the recruit firefighter who is voted overall “most outstanding” through the majority vote from the students in the class. Consideration is given for the highest level of teamwork, fellowship, enthusiasm and cooperation demonstrated by the members of the class.

“It takes a great bit of courage and faith for us to do this job,” Bissette said. “The book of Joshua says to be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go, so keep that in mind.”

The class presented the Instructional Excellence Award to instructor Michael Strange, captain with Rocky Mount Fire Department and volunteer with Battleboro Community Fire Department. The award is given by the students to the instructor who is deemed most influential, motivating and approachable throughout the training.

“Take time each day to learn more about the science of fire and new technologies in the fire service. Be quiet and listen,” Bissette explained. “Remember that while we all have a similar interest, we are not all alike. Make sure that you understand that other people have different experiences and that you can build from their experiences.”

NCC fire classes are often delivered directly to firefighters through training sessions held in local departments and at training sites throughout the community.

“Have integrity and make sure that you are doing the right thing at all times,” Bissette said. “Make sure you treat everyone as a family. Tell the truth and keep your word. Always, always, always look to help someone else.”

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NCC Director of Fire and Health Services, John Winstead left pictured with graduates, from left to right: Julius C. Bates (Nashville Fire Department) of Charlottesville, Virginia; Tyler D. Elman (Hopkins Fire Department) of Cape Coral, Florida; Samuel W. Greene (West Mount Fire Department) of Nashville; Donte Richardson (Arcola Fire Department) of Arcola; Olen J. Bass (Red Oak Fire Department) of Mathews, Virginia; Zackary E. Tant (Middlesex Fire Department) of Middlesex; David R. Baines (Middlesex Fire Department) of Middlesex; Carson T. Brooks (Zebulon Fire Department) of Zebulon.

Click to watch the ceremony video or to view photos.