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Fresno Fire Department celebrates new hires, promotions

Fresno Fire Department welcomes 16 firefighter trainees and makes promotions

The Fresno Fire Department recognized 16 new firefighter recruits and newly promoted deputy fire chiefs, battalion chiefs and captains during the department's Promotional Ceremony and Academy Graduation at City Hall on Friday morning. The class of
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The Fresno Fire Department recognized 16 new firefighter recruits and newly promoted deputy fire chiefs, battalion chiefs and captains during the department's Promotional Ceremony and Academy Graduation at City Hall on Friday morning. The class of

For just the second time in eight years, the Fresno Fire Department welcomed new recruits to the ranks as 16 firefighters graduated from training on Friday.

The occasion marked the end of the 14-week academy that firefighters must complete to begin working in Fresno, said department spokesman Hector Vasquez.

Hiring had been stopped as a result of the Great Recession’s impact on the city’s budget. But Fresno’s finances have turned around as the economy has lifted. In its latest budget, the City Council gave the Fire Department an increased allocation of about $5.5 million over last year to boost its firefighter ranks and continue an eight-year program to replace aging vehicles and equipment.

Those sworn in were firefighters Rene Gonzales, Bryan Hamer, Jacob Henry, Matthew Kelly, Charles Morgan Knight, Michael Lombardi, Matthew Marquez, Chad Mezzera, Shaunessey Moore, David Polanco, Rhett Pratt, Matthew Rau, Alex Reid, Gerald Rommel, Ryan Sloway and Matthew Thompson.

Fire Chief Kerri Donis also promoted staffers to the ranks of deputy fire chief, battalion chief and captain.

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