HINESVILLE, Ga. (May 24, 2021) – Tonight, the Hinesville Fire Department (HFD) welcomed six new firefighters into its ranks with a graduation ceremony. Flanked by friends and family members, each firefighter received their official service badge and recited the firefighter’s oath.
“Becoming a Hinesville firefighter is not for the faint of heart; it takes endless devotion, constant compassion, unending sacrifice and an amazing strength of character,” Hinesville Fire Chief Robert Kitchings said. “Each of our new firefighters embody these attributes. They have truly earned their seat; and, on behalf of our brothers and sisters at the Hinesville Fire Department, we warmly welcome our new firefighters.”
Tonight’s graduation ceremony marks the culmination of the Hinesville Fire Department’s new, in-house training program. The inaugural program, which began in March, sought to train new firefighter recruits locally, utilizing the department’s own highly-trained staff and widespread resources, versus sending them out-of-town to the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth. “Our newest firefighters are truly homegrown heroes,” Hinesville City Manager Kenneth Howard said. “By bringing our program in-house and training our new firefighter recruits locally, we set them up for tremendous success. Training in Hinesville led our new recruits to develop strong relationships with the community, with each other and with our custom equipment – each of these bonds is crucial in helping our firefighters save lives during emergencies.” The new, in-house training program, which is more cost-efficient, sprung from the need to train firefighter recruits quickly and proficiently in order to continue meeting the community’s demand for fire services.
“Hinesville is growing,” Cpt. Alex Mason, HFD Training Officer, said. “The addition of these new firefighters will help us continue to provide high-quality services to the community we love.” Now, having completed over 300 hours of classroom instruction and hands-on demonstrations, each new firefighter is a certified Firefighter I with knowledge of hazmat awareness, response and operations and basic level training in emergency medical response. The new firefighters are: Donald Barras; Cornelius Butler; Robert Johnson; Arthur Kearney; Thomas Lazarus; and, Adam Ziter. The City of Hinesville owns and operates the Hinesville Fire Department. HFD utilizes two fire stations and 48 firefighters, along with two administrative staff members, to provide professional fire services to the community.
HFD is the largest full-time fire services provider in Liberty County and works 24/7 to protect citizens. For more information about HFD, visit cityofhinesville.org and follow Facebook.com/HinesvilleFD.
Read more about the new recruits in the June edition of Liberty Life Magazine.