The FDNY graduated 288 rookie firefighters in the firehouse culture on Friday during a ceremony at Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn.
Members from the newest crop of bravest include Firefighter Brenden Woods, who helped his father Thomas Woods rescue trapped residents during the events of Hurricane Sandy, with his father in a kayak and he on a surfboard.
“Those moments helped with the understanding of serving the community,” Woods said as a 14-year-old teen from Far Rockaway. On Friday, he said, “It helped to read the material and lean on my father’s advice for understanding the firehouse culture.”
FDNY Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said during a speech, “Family is everything in the Fire Department and you just entered your second family. But you couldn’t do this without your first family.”
In this round of graduates, 47% of the probationary firefighters are people of color, with 28% identifying as Hispanic, 15% as Black, and 4% as Asian American. There are 7 women in the class, which brings the total number of female Firefighters to 148 – the most in FDNY history.
Chief of Department John Hodgens said, “This will be an exciting career through the ups and downs of this difficult job. The class also includes several women and other minority groups making it a very diverse class of firefighters.”
The rookie firefighters will be sent throughout the city to fight fires and be trained as certified first responders.