fire recruits lined up in rows at the academy

38 Recruits Start their Fire Service Training

The Raleigh Fire Department began two Fire Academies this week, with a total of 38 firefighter recruits reporting for duty. The two Academies will operate concurrently, with the first one, No. 46, running for 10 weeks, until July 2.

That Academy has 16 members, all with previous fire service experience and state certifications in EMT, firefighting and HazMat. 

Photo By Mike Legeros

Academy No. 47 is scheduled to run for 30 weeks, until Nov. 18. It has 22 members and they don’t have previous experience. 

The primary objective of the fire academy (abbreviated or traditional in length) is to certify the recruits to the recognized state and federal standards and to prepare them to operate safely and efficiently with a crew of fellow firefighters. These objectives ensure RFD’s firefighters are well trained and prepared to provide the best service possible to those in need, says Capt. Ben Averette. 

“The shorter academy allows previously certified individuals to graduate sooner and boost the staffing levels of our responding apparatus sooner,” he says. “And the long academy allows us to hire individuals who have little to no experience and develop them into competent firefighters.”

Academy No. 46 is the first “short” program since 2004, when 13 new firefighters graduated after a nine-week program.

For more about the Fire Academies, visit our Fire Recruitment page. 

Note: Main photo is courtesy of Mike Legeros