RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Today traffic came to a stop in downtown Rapid City for 11 new firefighters. They finished their 12 week Recruit Academy with a run lead by the department’s most senior member.
It’s graduation day for these new Rapid City firefighters.
“Academy was challenging in really good ways. It challenges us physically mentally. It really prepared us for the floor once we hit the floor and get to be a firefighter,” Shoemaker said.
At 8 a.m., the new recruits and some of their coworkers, ran a mile and a half through downtown Rapid City to showcase the people who will help protect the community.
“The run today was good. It was a good cohesive bonding experience for us new recruits we are graduating today finally after 12 weeks of being in the academy,” Jasnoch said.
This is the department’s 2nd graduation run. Fire training specialist, Hunter Harlan, hopes to make it a graduation tradition.
“It’s like ‘hey when the runs over I’ll see you at graduation’ and that’s a big deal. It is to me and it is to them and I think it is to all the other firefighters here and we’ve all been there. We’ve all been where those recruits were,” Harlan said.
And these 11 new firefighters are ready to take on whatever challenges come their way.
“Kind of a celebration like this is our final day this is our final run in our red shirts. We get to now put on our blue shirts and be a part of the crew,” Shoemaker said.
“You get to know these guys real good and their personalities and they came to us with a servant’s heart all we did was make them a Rapid City Fire Department firefighter,” Harlan said.
The graduation ceremony was Friday afternoon at the Journey Museum.