It was graduation night for 42 of Augusta’s newest firefighters


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — They have been studying and training for 26 weeks.

“It’s a mentally tough job and a physically tough job,” said Augusta Fire Chief, Christopher James. People will be amazed at the amount of knowledge that a firefighter has to have to perform their job efficiently.”

Many of these recruits already have jobs. They’re part of the team at fire stations throughout Augusta, and they are coming on board at just the right time.

“From what we have seen from cyber, the city is going to continue to grow,” explained James. “We, as a department, have to continue the growth to meet those needs.”

For some, this career is a chance to become a role model for children.

“I wanted to inspire, especially young girls,” said Kaalynn Tate. “They can do anything they want to do and not limit themselves to certain jobs.”

Tate also says you can succeed without going to college.

“College is not, in my opinion, a guarantee to be successful,” said Tate. “You can do whatever you want to do.”

Four women are a part of this graduating class. The Augusta Fire Department now has 11 female firefighters.

“It’s a chance to put on your gear and fight the fire, then you take your mask off, and people are like that was a female,” explained Jasmine Burney. “Yeah, that was me fighting the fire.”

They have the training, they have their badge, and now these fighters are ready for a lifetime of service.

“As first responders, now you’re going to take on the best job you’ve ever had in your life,” said James. “That job is helping other people at their worst moments.”

The Augusta Fire Department is still looking to hire more firefighters. The hiring process will continue until March.

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