ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For beginning firefighters all over the state, this has been a year without training.
Because of the pandemic, some state training programs were temporarily halted. The result is a backlog of recruits ready for training, right now. This spring, Monroe County firefighters are doing something about it. Instead of sending recruits to the state training facility out of town, they’re training them here at home.
Ben Tuyn is learning the ropes for a job he loves. The 22-year-old from Fairport is going to be a firefighter.
“I just love the job, the comradery, the brotherhood as they say. It’s a great feeling to be with these guys that care about something as much as you do. It’s a good time, a fun time and you get to help others.”
Tuyn is one of 24 recruits taking part in a 12-week firefighting class at the Public Safety Training Facility on Scottsville Road.
Here, they learn everything from truck driving to lifesaving rescues, and of course how to fight live fires.
“At the end of the day, we’re all here for each other and at the end of the day we’re all here for people that need us,” Henrietta Fire Lt. Chuck Hammon said.
“People who may be having the worst day of their lives, we’re here to help them and hopefully fix their problems or at least make their day a little better.”
Because of COVID-19 the class is split in two, with the groups rotating between different sites. Masking and disinfecting are mandatory. The Academy is five days a week and when three months are over, recruits will return to their different departments. That includes Watertown, Canandaigua, Brighton, and Ridge Culver.
Tuyn’s a volunteer for Bushnell’s Basin. “It’s a great program they have here.”
This academy for recruits is being spearheaded by the Henrietta Fire District. If it’s successful fire departments around Monroe County will take turns hosting the academy in the months and years to come.