April 18, 2017
On Tuesday, April 18th, FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro presided over the graduation of 304 Probationary Firefighters at Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn.
Commissioner Nigro highlighted the diversity of the incoming class of Probationary Firefighters.
“Our Department is continuing to better represent the diverse city we serve, as 37% of our Probies are people of color - and with 6 new women in this outstanding class, I can proudly say that more women serve as New York City Firefighters today than at any point in our history,” said Commissioner Nigro.
Of the 304 graduating probationary Firefighters, 17.4% identify as Hispanic, 16.1% as African-American, and 2.6% as Asian-American/Pacific Islander. There are six women in the class, bringing the total number of female Firefighters to 64 – the highest total in FDNY history. There are 38 veterans, representing all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
One of the six female Probationary Firefighters graduating reflected on her journey to the FDNY.
“Probationary Firefighter School was the best experience of my life. I learned a lot, not only about myself, but also about how to work together as a team,” said Probationary Firefighter Carla Mendoza. “The instructors challenged us every day and overall it was a very humbling experience. The Department brings to me not only a rewarding career but also family.”
For Probationary Firefighter Gerard Clinton, a career in the FDNY has been a family affair. He served the country as a Marines Corps Veteran and is now a fourth generation NYC Firefighter.
“There is so much history in this Department for me,” said Probationary Firefighter Clinton. “Being a Firefighter is what I’ve always wanted to do since I can remember. It’s a tremendous honor to be here, to walk in the shoes of my father, Gerard Clinton, who retired as Battalion Chief, my grandfather Brian Clinton, who retired as Assistant Chief and my great grandfather, along with all those who came before me. I’m excited to continue the family tradition and carry on the legacy as a New York City Firefighter.”
Chief James E. Leonard welcomed the Probationary Firefighters to the traditions and values of the FDNY.
“For 152 years now, men and women have raised their right hand and swore an oath to protect life and property in our city,” said Chief Leonard. “A long legacy of heroic and valiant actions defines this department’s storied history.”
For pictures of the graduation ceremony, click here.