By Kathy Jefcoats
RIVERDALE — Dozens of family and friends turned out Thursday night to watch 26 new recruits be put through their paces in four training exercises behind Clayton County fire headquarters.
Capt. Jacque Feilke said the event gives the recruits a chance to show their families what they've learned during the eight-week course.
"It's fun and casual and way for them to show off what they've learned," she said.
The next morning, they participated in graduation ceremonies and were assigned their fire stations. Three of the new firefighters are women.
During the first demonstration, six recruits showed how fast they can dress out into fire gear. Michael Singley finished first at 51 seconds.
"Not bad for an old guy," he said.
Other demonstrations included a combat challenge involving relay teams, putting out a car fire and making a rescue from a "burning" building.
The new firefighters are Patrick Bettis, Chris Cameron, Michael Cooper, Charles Edwards, Joshua Ezzard, Timothy Griffiths, Jamila Hamilton, Brantley Hardin, Antione Hill, Brandon Harris, Joshua Howell, Joshua Jones, Brett Lee, Emily Leslie,, Jeremy Martin, Kevin McLain, Jonathan Moore, Justin Myers, Daniel Radcliffe, Juan Rivera, Dexter Scott, LaShawndra Scott, Michael Singley, Cody Whitlock, Quinterious Tharpe and Derek Rock.