Coweta Fire Department
Rookies welcomed into firefighter brotherhood
by Marianne Thomasson
After 16 weeks of intense training, nine recruits of the Coweta County Fire Department marked their graduation at a banquet Saturday at Headquarters on Turkey Creek Road.
The graduates are Christopher Allen, Luke Bowden, Clayton Bryant, Thaddeus Findley, Daniel Hudson, Kyle Kirby, Richard Reeves, Kevin Steighner and Joshua Storey.
“This is a celebration of the guys embarking on their new careers. With service comes sacrifice. Their reward will be in knowing they’ve made a difference in the community,” said firefighter Willie Kee, who served as master of ceremonies.
Firefighter Christopher Yates added that the graduates are all “top notch.”
“They have had weeks to learn respect and honor that will enhance their family life, their everyday life and their decision making. Welcome to the brotherhood,” he said. The recruits were also admonished, “Training doesn’t stop here.”
Rookies Richard Reeves and Clay Bryant presented a framed Coweta County Fire Department flag to Captain Ron Hamilton, explaining, “The flag represents the pride associated with the CCFD and we will treat the flag and the department with utmost respect.”
Reeves quoted Winston Churchill by saying, “Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. You do what is required.”
Hamilton presented three citations to the rookies. Joshua Storey was named “most improved,” Clay Bryant, “most physically fit,” and Christopher Allen, “highest academic score.”
Deputy Chief Alan Smith recognized Explorer Post 700 which helped set up and serve the dinner. “We have hired 13 former Explorers in Coweta County and there are others in surrounding counties,” he said. “They have a servant’s heart and a desire to be firefighters.”
Deputy Chief Todd Moore said, “I’m proud of the men and women of the Coweta County Fire Department for their dedication and training. They have confidence with strategic and tactical knowledge. They train every day to provide quality customer service.
“They also have integrity, doing right when no one is looking. They hold each other accountable and they are passionate about what they do. Nothing is accomplished without passion and enthusiasm,” he concluded.
After relatives pinned the badges on the rookies, their station assignments were announced: Allen, Station 14, A shift; Bowden, Station 6, A shift; Bryant, Station 6, C shift; Findley, Station 6, B shift; Hudson, Station 9, B shift; Kirby, Station 16, A shift; Reeves, Station 5, A shift; Steighner, Station 8, C shift; Storey, Station 2, B shift.