FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Fire Academy graduated 66 firefighters from the Firefighter I program this week. Graduates were divided into two classes: Class 92 graduated Dec. 20 and Class 93 graduated Dec. 21. Both ceremonies were held at the Fire Academy on Route 33 in Howell.

Graduates worked 188 hours over 30 sessions and received training in rescue, fire extinguishment, hazardous materials response, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, electrical safety, and care of hoses, ladders and other equipment.

"You have stepped forward to serve others, and you will have rewards," Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley said in his address to Class 93. "You will answer the call and place your lives on the line to save someone else's life and property, because that is what you are trained to do. You have such an extraordinary challenge because so many people will look up to you."

"Public service comes in many forms, and some are more dangerous than others," Freeholder Lillian G. Burry said in her address to Class 92. "The job you are about to embark on is dangerous. I am confident that you will succeed because of the training you received at this academy by these fine instructors."

A graduate from each class earned an award in honor of Ronald Fitzpatrick, a former instructor at the Fire Academy who died in 2003. The awards went to Jeffrey Daley, Class 92, of the Oakhurst Fire Company in Ocean Township, and Daniel O'Leary, Class 93, of the Point Pleasant Beach #2 Fire Company in recognition of their high test scores.

Monmouth County Fire Marshal Henry Stryker III congratulated the graduates and urged them to continue their training with advanced courses offered at the Fire Academy.

"Over the years I have learned that it takes a special type of person to be a firefighter," Stryker said. "They have to have a passion to do this job. The graduates sitting before us have that passion because they have completed the rigorous training as their first step. Please be safe."

"I have no doubt you will be an asset to your community," said William Itinger, chief training officer. "These firefighter graduates are to be commended for their dedication and willingness to serve. Go out and join the ranks of the firefighting community. Be safe, and have good careers."

Each year thousands of local firefighters receive training at the county Fire Academy. Applications for the spring 2012 Firefighter I class are being accepted now. Classes will begin in February.

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Class #92 Firefighter 1 graduates

Arvel Afflick East Windsor #2

Kyle Bauter Glendola, Wall Township

Ryan Boyle Wanamassa Fire Company

Brett Brahn Spring Lake Fire Department

Francis Calabrese Red Bank Fire Department

Eric Cantwell Ridgeway Fire Company

Mathew Chester Ridgeway Fire Company

Travis Ciani Tinton Falls Fire Company #1

Kevin Covert Sea Bright Fire Department

Zachery Covert Sea Bright Fire Department

Michael Crismali East Windsor #2

Christopher D'Eufemia Spring Lake Fire Department

Jeffrey Daley Oakhurst Fire Company

Jason Downing Spring Lake Fire Department

Sean Edson Oakhurst Fire Company

Benjamin Espada Aberdeen Hose & Chemical #1

Jason Henry Allenhurst Fire Department

Thomas Kacsmar Glendola Fire Company

Joshua Kolodziej Holmdel Fire Rescue #2

John Kuhlthau Monmouth Beach Fire Company

Mark Mancino Holmdel Fire Rescue #2

Scott Mason Spring Lake Fire Department

Thomas Mayrose Ridgeway Fire Company

Thomas Moran East Freehold Fire Company

Andrew Murray Jr. Keansburg Fire Company #1

Chanin Robilotti Englishtown

Eric Sacks Manalapan Township #1

Henry Sieminski Spring Lake Fire Department

Jake Simon Sea Bright Fire Department

Michael Whittet Gordon's Corner Fire Company

Ryan Woolf-Sanchez Holmdel Fire Rescue #2

Class #93 Firefighter I graduates

Robert Allen Brevent Park Fire Company

Jonathan Arnburg Englishtown

Christian Bailey Keyport Hook & Ladder

Brian Conover Brevent Park Fire Company

Kevin Conover Brevent Park Fire Company

Ambrose Cooper IV Point Pleasant Beach #2

Arthur Eldridge Neptune Fire Department

Steven Fox Hazlet #1

Michael Gregorio Aberdeen Hose & Chemical

Andrew Hagenberg Englishtown

Uri Halle Lakewood #3

John Iorio South Wall Fire & Rescue

Thomas Jeleniewski Northside Engine Company

Dylan LaCugna Englishtown

Michael Lippolis Oceanport Hook & Ladder

Sean Morelli Melrose Hose #1, Sayreville

Donald Morse Fair Haven

Karr Mullen Little Silver Fire Department

Henry Murphy West Long Branch

Robert Murphy Holmdel Fire Rescue #2

Salvatore Nesta IV Hazlet #1

Daniel O'Leary Point Pleasant Beach #2

Christopher Pinto Gordon's Corner

Michael Podolla Morganville Independent

Jarrod Rubin South Wall Fire & Rescue

Michael Samuel Branchport, Long Branch

Joseph Sary Hope Fire Company

Lucas Schanck Hazlet #1

Joseph Sisk Point Pleasant Beach #2

Clayton Smith Little Silver

Steven Steger West Long Branch

Patrick Thomas Morganville Independent

Tom Verrochi Oakhurst

Tyler Whelan East Freehold Fire Company

David Wolf Lakewood Rescue #2