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Graduation Day: Firefighting a Family Affair in Rockland County

Firefighting dads see their sons graduate from basic training.

For Rockland County volunteer firefighters, Thursday night's graduation ceremony to honor newly-trained volunteers was a true family affair.

Among the 84 volunteers who received their certificates for completion of training programs there were many second- and third-generation volunteer firefighters. From the Nyack Fire Department, six new volunteers received their certificates — with three of those firefighters being the sons of current firefighters.

William Lynch, a longtime volunteer with Nyack's Orangetown Engine Co. No. 1 in South Nyack, took to the stage at the Cultural Arts Center at Rockland Community College to watch as his twin sons, Ryan and Sean Lynch, received their cerficates for completing the Firefighter I program — the basic training program for new firefighters. Ryan and Sean are also members of Orangetown Engine Co. No. 1.

Also receiving a Firefighter I certificate was James Weck Jr., son of Nyack F.D. Deputy Chief James Weck. Like his father, Weck Jr. is a member of NFD's Empire Hool and Ladder Co. No. 1 in Upper Nyack.

"It made me very proud," said Weck Sr. "He's the third generation of Wecks to join Empire since 1950.

Weck Sr.'s father was a member of Empire from 1950 to 1988, and like his son on Thursday, he too became a volunteer firefighter at age 16.

Also completing Firefighter I training for Nyack were Carlos A. Hernandez, Paul M. Mitchell and Richard J. Viaggiani.

Rockland County Fire and Emergency Services Director Gordon Wren Jr., also a Hillcrest volunteer, said Rockland County has a long tradition of sons - and daughters - following in the footsteps of family members to become volunteer firefighters. Wren's own daughter, Alexandra, is also a Hillcrest volunteer firefighter.

"We're still able to maintain that volunteer tradition in Rockland County despite the odds," said Wren.

Rockland County has 26 fire departments, all staffed 100 percent by volunteers. In New City, Fire Cheif Kenny Flynn said Thursday's graduation was exciting for him and his department because of a large contingent of new firefighters from New City.

Flynn explained that his department usually has two or three members in each graduating class, but in Thursday's group there were six from New City:

- Brian A. Butrico
- Victor Caraballo
- Christopher Faso
- Thomas Henion
- Kenneth Louden
- Matthew Rogers 

In another second-generation firefighter connection, Thomas Henion was met on stage during graduation by his father Dennis, who started his Rockland County firefighting efforts with the Sparkill Fire Department before joining in New City.

At Thursday night's graduation session, 84 volunteers (82 from Rockland and 2 from Orange County) were cited for completing their training, with many of them having completed a second phase of training known as Firefighter II. The Firefighter I course requires 87 hours of training at the Rockland County Fire Training Center in Pomona, with additional study at home. The Firefighter II course is an additional 27 hours of training.

Click here for more photos from the graduation ceremony.

As the new firefighters prepared to pick up their graduation certificates, veteran firefighter Christopher Kear encouraged them to be active in their fire departments and prepare to become future leaders of those departments. Kear is a former Hillcrest fire chief and he works as a firefighter for Greenwich, CT.

"Some of the volunteers here today will the officers and chiefs of tomorrow," said Kear. "Rockland county is very fornutate to have a great, strong volunteer base."

Here are the graduates, their departments and the course they completed:

Jan 10, 2013 

By Dept 

FD Name

 CLASSES

Last name

Turchyn

First name

Andriy

 

Blauvelt

 

FF I

Edwards

Adam Z

Congers

FF I

Slinn

Sean P

FF I

Castillo

Francis M

Haverstraw

FF I

Chevere

Xavier

FF I

Hernandez

Alioska

FF I

Lowry

Michael J

FF I

Maldonado Jr

Carnelo

FF I

Martinez

Baneury R

FF I

Mota

Rosabely

FF I

Pileggi

Matthew J

FF I

Berrios

Edgar

Hillcrest

FF I

Borden

Zachery

FF I

Capone

Steven W

FF I & II

Cedeno II

Nelson A

FF I

Freeman

Joshua C

FF I

King

Brian A

FF I

Senat

Abel W

FF I

Spaeth

Bintomin

FF II

Wamsley

James C

FF I

Retome

Israel B

Monsey

FF I & II

Butrico

Brian A

New City

FF II

Caraballo

Victor G

FF II

Faso

Christopher S

FF II

Henian

Thomas

FF I

Louden

Kenneth A

FF I & II

Rogers

Matthew

FF II

Hernandez

Carols A

Nyack

FF I

Lynch

Ryan M

FF I

Lynch

Sean P

FF I

Mitchell

Paul M

FF I

Viaggiani

Richard J

FF I

Weck Jr

James G

FF I

Amadi

Damien N

Orangeburg

FF I

Gordon

Kenneth V

FF I

Pimentel

Emanuel

FF I

Chanin

Eric C

Pearl River

FF II

Loughran III

Michael C

FF I & II

Murtagh

Matthew

FF II

Redmond

John

FF II

Sullivan

Stephen M

FF I

Wholey Sr

Jeremiah P

FF I

Artrip

Hugh

Piermont

FF I

Bonkoski

Kevin M

Slaotsburg

FF I

Stella

Joseph E

FF I

Hasenfus Jr

Paul F

Sparkill

FF I

Panter

Joshua B

FF I

Tedesco

Timothy G

FF I

Weber

Randy L

FF II

BenAmmar

Israel B

Spring Valley

FF I

Leitner

Sarah Y

FF I

Martial

Emerson J

FF I

Berretta

Joseph A

Stony Point

FF I

Cass

Christopher M

FF I

Cirrilla

Anthony B

FF II

Huslinger

Joseph R

FF I

Jordan

Chris R

FF I & II

Peralta

Thomas

FF I

Willem

Kenneth G

SSO

Jodice

Michael J

Suffern

FF I

Morena

Matthew J

Tallman

FF I

Gangemi

Andrew T

Tappan

FF I & II

Scherf

Matt R

FF I

Bello

Robert J

Valley Cottage

FF I

Carozza

John J

FF I

Coe

Kevin M

W. Haverstraw

FF I

Karwee

Armah

FF I

Keane

Devon M

FF II

Kearns

Edward R

FF II

Scaglione

Vincent

FF I & II

Veras

Kevin W

FF I

Willis

Kendell R

FF I

Duran

Adyel

West Nyack

FF I & II

Grogan

Kevin

FF I

Keane

Devon M

FF I

Curcio Jr

Vincent A

S. Spring Valley

FF I

Ryan

John C

FF I

Black

Robert I

Thiells

FF I

Johnson

Vyne A

FF I

Miller

Michael S

FF I

Sargent-Bell

Bigon

FF I

Weireter

Jennifer M

FF I

McNeil

Matt S

Warwick

FF I

Stark

John P

Washingtonville

FF I

Total

84

 

 

William Demarest January 12, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Congratulations to the graduates ... and thanks for all the time you spend as volunteers!
Kevin Shannon January 13, 2013 at 02:04 PM
I'm so happy for the Grads having known some of them since they were in 5th grade makes me feel old

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