Chico swears in largest cadet class in fire dept. history

CHICO, Calif. - 13 new firefighters have joined the Chico Fire Department Friday afternoon and just in time for the fire season.

A badge pinning ceremony was held at the Chico City Council Chambers.

These firefighters stemmed from the $5 million Safer Grant the fire department applied for at the beginning of the year.

The cadets went through a rigorous eight week training course that included mastering ladders, hoses and other firefighting techniques.

"We are going to be a huge part of the department," said graduating cadet, Eric Kennedy. "We are going to be the main force of the firefighter ranks on the floor. We are excited that we are going to be making that big of a contribution and it's very exciting."

"Really this number of firefighters makes the difference between whether or not we are able to catch a fire when its small and be able to make rescues and do the things what we need to do at a fire," said Interim Fire Chief Shane Lauderdale.

There was a little mishap; someone forgot to bring the badges, but the veteran firefighters put their badges in a hat and let new firefighter's loved ones pin on the borrowed badges.

The new firefighters will report for duty next week.

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