At some point, every little boy dreams of growing up to be a firefighter. On Friday, that dream became a reality for eight new recruits. This class holds the distinction of being the last to graduate from Lubbock's training academy.
For the past 15 weeks, the Lubbock Fire Department has been documenting its final training academy. The guys are the last of the recruits to be certified here in Lubbock. From this point forward, the LFD will only hire fire fighters who are already certified from training with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.
The reason? Money. "This way we won't have them in recruit school for 15 weeks where they're already on the payroll. It'll lesson that," says LFD Training Chief Royce Ethridge. Ethridge is quick to point out that this does not mean Lubbock's brand new facility will go unused.
"We do a lot more at this training facility than just train rookies."
In fact, it's quite the opposite. The facility is mainly used for keeping the current 261 Lubbock firefighters up to date on their training. Now, the facility will always be available for continuous education. "CE hours. That's totally what it's about," says Ethridge.