Graduation Day For 29 New Miami Firefighters

COCONUT GROVE (CBS4) – Graduation isn’t just for students in high school or college. Friday morning, nearly 30 new recruits graduated from the Miami Fire Rescue Training Center in Coconut Grove.

These graduates were selected from 2,400 applicants who applied in February of 2008 in a recruitment drive where many of them stood in line for days at a chance for a career as a Miami firefighter.

“I camped out for three nights to turn in my application, slept in the cold and everything,” said newly sworn in firefighter Marc Alexandre.

“I was in the line with my daughter, she was maybe five months old we were there for the whole weekend,” said Heidi Enriquez who was also sworn in Friday.

It was a weekend well worth it and one that changed Heidi’s life when she finally got a call from the Miami Fire Department, almost two years later.

“This is all I wanted, thank God I’m here today,” she said.

“The fact that we had over 2,400 applicants proves that first of all it’s a coveted position, people respect the career of a firefighter and secondly, it’s a sign of the economy,” said Miami Fire Rescue Chief Maurice Kemp.

This is the third class of new recruits to graduate since that massive recruitment drive in 2008.

“Because of the budget issue and budget crisis there were times when I thought, if I was going to get the call,” said Alexandre.

According to Miami-Fire rescue officials, they didn’t lose any members of the class. They started with 29 recruits and 29 graduated on Friday after they endured 17 weeks of grueling training.

“I’m very privileged and honored to be a part of a great department,” said Alexandre. “This is the only department that I wanted to work for.”

The class of new firefighters has joined one of the most respected fire rescue departments in the country which is also home to the highly recognized City of Miami Urban Search and Rescue Team.

The first shift for the newbies starts on Sunday.

  • Willie Colon

    More bums to pay for.

    • Kay

      You’re a moron

    • ana solstice

      Go live in a box on the street, that way you wont need to “pay for them”.

    • RG671

      I am not sure if to feel angry or sorry for you. People like you should be given the “option” to be exempt from paying taxes that pay for your civil services. In return, your house/apartment would be noted on the dispatch system as a non-participating citizen who waives their right to emergency services. This way you could put out your own fire while we protect your more appreciating neighbors from losing everything they own. Fortunately for you, no matter how much you may consider us BUMS, the day you dial those three numbers we will be there within minutes and without judgement.

  • Roger Keith

    So what profession are you in Willie? What makes you so special to post that comment? Maybe you’d change your tune if you needed one of them.

    You’re probably just a fat-ass hater who couldn’t get hired as a fireman or one of them went out with your significant other.

    • Kay

      I second that!!!!

  • li verastegui

    Congrats to the new class!! You are ALL respected and appreciated for all you will be doing!!

    As for Willie… moron doesn’t even begin to describe just how IGNORANT you are. I bet that if you needed them one day you would’nt be calling them a bum. I bet that your name really isn’t “Willie Colon”.. the real Willie Colon is dead.. you’re just an IDIOT “Willie”. too scared to really put your name??

  • JSuarez

    Congratulations! Welcome to the Family! You are now part of an elite group of men and women that have come together from different walks of life with one common goal… To serve the citizens of Miami in a professional manner bye providing rapid emergency response and other services to save lives and protect property!! God Bless Each One Of You!

    In service to others,
    J. Suarez
    City Of Miami Firefighter


    Isn’t the city broke??? and on a hiring freeze??? Where’s Defede at? Defede maybe you should investigate this. It seems to me this recruits got hooked up because they either know the chief or they suck up to someone in the city. Wait… isn’t that how most people get into the city anyways??? Yeahhh! Welcome to Miami!

  • JSuarez

    Your ignorance is compelling.

  • Phil Landers

    That will get laid off during the next round of budget cuts.

  • Robert Rapado

    Congrats to Brian goldsmith and Michael verde! Way to kick ass! 08-064 in da house!

  • Raul Gonzalez

    Congratulations to all of you! Now the fun begins. Delgado, you’re still 09-01 to us brother!

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