ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Anchorage Fire Department is welcoming a new group into the department. Thursday afternoon, AFD held a graduation ceremony for the fire academy.
More than a hundred people came to the AFD training center to congratulate the 13 new probationary members of the AFD family. This is the second firefighter academy of the year, bringing the total of new firefighters to 41. The department did not hire any new recruits for four years, but this year, a federal grant provided funding to hire most of the new firefighters. After a competitive application process, the grads trained for 12 weeks.
Among the new firemen, were four who got their first badges pinned by their fathers, who are current firemen.
Bryan Grella and his son Cody have deployed to Iraq twice together. They now share a passion for public service.
“I’m very proud of him. He knows he's worked hard for this a long time,” said Bryan Grella as he looked as his son, Cody. “It's not like he woke up yesterday and decided to be a fireman. He’s been working for this for ten years.”