Forty started the long and arduous process and 29 remained.
Those are the hard numbers behind the latest class of recruits to go through the Basic Firefighter Academy offered by the Buckley Fire Department.
The department, with Chief Alan Predmore and Lt. Keith Lambertus leading the way, regularly offers the academy that gives aspiring firefighters the opportunity to earn their badge.
That’s exactly what happened to 20 dedicated trainees Thursday night during a ceremony in the White River School District administration building.
Standing before an audience of friends and family members, Predmore said it’s acknowledged up front that not all will complete the process.
“We tried to tell them what life was going to be like for the next six months or so,” the chief said. “We told them that not everyone would make it and no one believed us.”
With the recent class of recruits just moments from graduating, Predmore reminded them of their ongoing responsibilities.
“In the fire service, the training never stops,” he said. “This is just the beginning.”
Recruits go through the academy in hopes of landing a job as a career firefighter. For now, all will serve as volunteers with their departments.
The graduating class consisted of:
Enumclaw Fire Department/King 28: Jared Johnson, Thomas Poe, Joey Temple, Austin Walsh, Brandon Williams and Sam Woestwin.
Buckley Fire Department: Jeffrey Brock, Daniel Cox, Camille Depew, Cameron Nickson, Blake Tidwell and Zachariah Wolfe.
Carbonado Fire Depart-ment: Matthew Browning and Adam Carrier.
Greenwater Fire Department: Bryan Adler.
Crystal Mountain Fire Department: Amber Cole.
Maple Valley Fire and Life Safety: Thomas Applegate, Tyler Gage, Sandra Kelly, Corey Mish, John Pokallus, Trial Tanner, William Whatley and Kenneth Williams.
Graham Fire and Rescue: Jon Ernst and Francisco Tovar.
Pierce County Fire District No. 13: Erica Levens, Mikhail Vlasenko and Daniel Waller.