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    Extended Coverage

    Semper Paratus: Graduation Of LB Firefighters Recruit Class 2005A

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05(Dec. 11, 2005) -- In a ceremony simultaneously solemn and joyful, 19 new firefighters joined the Semper Paratus [Always Ready] ranks of the Long Beach Fire Department on December 10.

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05With LB elected officials, political candidates, city management, civil service commissioners, LBFD and LBPD command staffs and a large crowd of family and friends looking on, the graduation of Recruit Class 2005A took place at LBFD's ELB training facility.

    28 recruits began the class; 19 successfully completed the rigorous training course.

    The ceremony began with a particularly eloquent Invocation by LBFD Chaplain, Msgr. Sean Flanagan. "We ask you, Lord, to guard them in their chosen profession, which is indeed and truly a ministry," Msgr. Flanagan said. He concluded by asking for a moment of silence for those who had given their lives in the line of duty. Bagpipes sounded Amazing Grace.

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05In his remarks, LB Fire Chief Dave Ellis said the biggest challenge the new firefighters would face is thanking their familymembers for their support...and walked forward to address the class personally:

    LB Fire Chief Dave Ellis ...You've been given an opportunity and as we saw, the number of people who got hired, not everyone took advantage of that opportunity to get to where you are today, so it's tremendous that you're here today. Individually, you're going to have the opportunity for a great career. When you look at every member of the Long Beach Fire Department, every one of us takes pride in this organization...You've achieved a lot as individuals, but collectively you've got greater opportunities. Each one of you now is part of a team. You will be a team, and you'll have the opportunity to save lives and you'll create a culture for future generations...

    Other officials offered their congratulations:

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05Mayor Beverly O'Neill: ...Since I've been Mayor, I've had twelve years of feeling that our public safety is the finest. Our police department has increasingly become the finest. The fire department, for years, has been among the finest. And people are finding this out. They're finding it out throughout the United States. Our police chief and our fire chief are being sought out for answers to questions because what we have is something to be proud of...Not only is it a beautiful day, not only do we live in a city that has a wonderful climate, that's changed a great deal, there is now a sense of pride in so many things and especially today for graduation [of these recruits]...

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05Police Chief Anthony Batts: ...We as public safety stand strong. There's nothing prouder for me as the Chief of Police to go to other cities and have them talk about the Long Beach Fire Department. We have one of the best fire organizations in the nation and these young recruits now are stepping forward to become part of that family. I am so very honored and so very proud to be able to stand here and to tell them congratulations as they step forward into one of the finest fire departments in the United States.

    LB's highest ranking first responders attended. LBFD command staff, fire training staff and instructors were joined by nearly the entire LBPD command staff was present, including LB Police Chief Anthony Batts, Deputy Chiefs Tim Jackman and Robert Luna, Commander Bill Blair and Braden Phillips (Dir. Administration Bureau)

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05Among those looking on: Councilman Patrick O'Donnell...

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05Councilman/Mayoral candidate Frank Colonna...

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/053d district Council candidate Gary DeLong and Mayoral candidate Bob Foster were present.

    Other LB area offices (1st, 8th, 9th district Councilmembers, Ass'ywoman Karnette) attended via aides. Deputy City Manager Suzanne Mason also attended along with four members of LB's Civil Service Commission.

    They watched as the new recruits displayed the skills they'd learned and would soon apply on the streets of CA's fifth largest city.

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05This procedure (called an Auditorium Raise) displays multiple skills. A team of firefighters hoists, balances and secures a heavy, wobbling extended ladder in open space with nothing to support it but their own physical a firefighter shows his confidence in the team by scaling the ladder at basically a 90 degree vertical angle.

    [Comment: A few months ago, to snap an aerial photo at a city event, Mr. had an opportunity to climb a fire truck ladder at barely a 30 degree angle. That was tough enough.]

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05These firefighters rappel down a multi-story training structure.

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05Safely extricating a seriously injured person from a mangled car wreck is one of the new firefighters' skills.

    The patient survived; the car's roof didn't.

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05The new recruits extinguished this blaze very quickly.

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05Firefighters battle the flames in this example of a residential fire...a type tragically common this time of year when holiday candles ignite a (too dry, unwatered) Christmas tree, which sets other room furniture ablaze.

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05When flames appeared in the training tower, these new firefighters doused them.

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05They're not firefighters until they're sworn in...and LB City Clerk Larry Herrera administered the oath to the U.S. and CA constitutions.

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05Firefighters were welcomed into the ranks by LBFD brass...

    2005A Graduation Dec. 10/05...and pinned with their new badges by family and friends.

    Congratulations to LB's newest firefighters: Samuel H. Adams, Casey Blythe, Jon Breeden, Victor Carnewal, Jack Crabtree, Chris Duffy, Ryan Gilbrook, Bradley Hopper, Adam Knopp, Michael Lorton, Brian Mauga, Luis Monge, Stacey Nichols, Peter Ordille, Saddharth Ramani, Danny Sancez, Martin Turner and Jeffrey Vargas.

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