On Friday, November 4, 2022, thirty Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technicians graduated from Loudoun County Fire and Rescue’s 42nd recruit class in an official ceremony at Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg.
The recruits, their friends and family, along with members of fire and rescue leadership, Loudoun County Administration and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors looked on as Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens swore in the recruits as the newest members of the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System (LC-CFRS).
Deputy Chief Randall L. Shank emceed the event and in his opening remarks, commended the recruits on their hard work and the commitment it took to complete the challenging 26-week recruit program. “As with every recruit class, these individuals have endured many hours of physical training, academic challenges, long and often challenging training evolutions, as well as countless evenings and weekends of studying and time spent away from their family and friends, stated Deputy Chief Shank. “They have been tested mentally, physically, and emotionally. They learned how to be part of a team and to function as a unit.”
In remarks by Board of Supervisor Michael Turner, the graduates were recognized for their hard work and sacrifice. Supervisor Turner shared a story with the graduates from his time as a helicopter pilot that reminded the recruits to trust those with more experience and to learn from the vast knowledge around them. He also emphasized the importance of teamwork and relying on their training to be successful in their career.
Fire Chief Keith Johnson addressed the audience on behalf of LC-CFRS, thanking not only the recruits for their dedication and perseverance, but also their families who supported them throughout this journey and will continue to support them throughout their career. Chief Johnson shared with the graduates the qualities they need to be successful in the fire and emergency medical services, passion, dedication, and professionalism. “In public safety our fire and rescue departments are families, and the people that work and volunteer for us come in all different demographics, diverse backgrounds and faiths, but what matters most is that we all have a passion for caring for others in their time of need,” stated Chief Johnson. He went on to remind the graduates that this is just the beginning of their career, and that the success of their career will depend on their qualities of passion, dedication, and professionalism, and how they provide compassionate care to Loudoun’s residents and carry themselves throughout their career.
Special recognition went to Firefighter/EMT Misael Ortega who was designated top recruit for class 42. Firefighter Ortega showed exemplary leadership, poise and dedication throughout the challenging program earning the top recruit award.
Also recognized for recruit class 42 was Firefighter/EMT Nancy Acedillo with the Lieutenant Alex J. Keepers Memorial Award. The Lieutenant Alex J. Keepers Memorial Award was established to memorialize Lt. Keepers, who was tragically killed in 2007, and is awarded to the recruit who made outstanding improvements throughout the recruit academy. Firefighter Acedillo, like Lt. Keepers, embodies a character that never quit and pushed through adversity.
These graduating recruits completed an extensive recruit academy that incorporated 1,000 hours of both emergency medical technician and firefighting training into a 26-week program. The following personnel will now begin their careers as Loudoun County Firefighter/EMTs, assigned to various fire and rescue stations throughout the County. Ten of the personnel will be remaining at the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Oliver Robert Dube Fire & Rescue Training Academy to continue their education and professional development to better serve Loudoun County. They will be attending the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) class, which is nine weeks of classroom and hospital rotations and three additional weeks of Capstone work in the field.
Congratulations Recruit Class 42