July 23, 2020

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Announces 22 Graduates of State's Recruit Firefighter Training Program in Schuyler County

Graduates to Become Full-time Firefighters at Departments Across the State

Training Conducted in Accordance with New COVID-19 Safety Protocols Implemented at State Academy of Fire Science

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services today announced the graduation of 22 new firefighters from the state’s Recruit Firefighter Training program at the Office of Fire Prevention and Control’s Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls. Graduates hail from 13 fire departments and represent the Academy's 80th Recruit Firefighter Training class. The typical 11-week residential program provides extensive fire service training in an environment similar to a full-time fire department. However, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the training was adapted to accommodate remote learning for the classroom-based portions and to ensure the practical training conducted on-site was done so safely. Upon graduation, all recruits will become full-time firefighters in their respective fire departments when they return home.

New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy said, “Whether it’s a structure fire, flash flood or global pandemic, New York’s firefighters have always answered the call when disaster strikes. These brave men and women have dedicated their lives to keeping their communities safe and we are proud to support them by ensuring they receive the best training in the nation. I congratulate these 22 brand new firefighters and thank them for committing their lives to public service.”

New York State Fire Administrator Francis Nerney said, "I applaud these graduates on their accomplishment and know they have the right training to serve their communities well now and in the future. They join the over 100,000 men and women serving in the fire service across New York, and I thank them for their commitment to public service and public safety.”

The Office of Fire Prevention and Control’s Recruit Firefighter Training Program provides basic training for both volunteer and recently hired career firefighters. During the 11-week program, recruits participate in more than 500 hours of training in both classroom and practical settings. Classes focus on areas such as emergency vehicle and pump operations, flammable gas firefighting, basic rescue technician skills and foundational firefighting training and operations. Recruits also participate in daily physical fitness training in preparation for the Candidate Physical Ability Test. Upon completion, graduates will have received national certification from the National Board of Fire Service Professional Qualifications in Firefighter I, Firefighter II and Hazardous Materials Operations.

Upon the initial suspension of in-person training, recruits worked to complete the classroom-based portions of the curriculum remotely through on-line training presented by OFPC at their home department, with oversight from their department’s training officer. With classroom work complete, State Fire officials worked to implement comprehensive health and safety measures to protect recruits as they complete the physical portion of the course. As part of this effort, recruits are now be required to complete the same screening process which has been implemented at state-owned facilities across the state. Specifically, recruits have their temperature taken and are asked a series of questions to identify their potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus. This occurs each week as recruits enter the academy, and then twice daily as they are on site.

A number of changes have also been implemented at the Academy itself to ensure an enhanced level of safety. More details can be found here.

The following firefighters graduated today from the 80th Recruit Firefighter Training Program: 


Home Fire Department



Matthew Farnan

Albany Airport

Patrick DeLuca


William Bryan MacIntyre


Brandon Magill


Kevin Glinski


Ahmed Ismail


Kari-Leigh Lahey


Evan Holl


Miroslav Formanek

Glens Falls

Justin House


Ryan Green

Ithaca Airport

Jonathan Marshal


Eric Weber


David Bruno

Niagara Falls

Jonathan Novak

Niagara Falls

James Donner

North Tonawanda

Nicolas Vossler

North Tonawanda

Darren Johnstone


Cullen Swider


James Braid


Melinda Fewster


Adam Knef



The next Recruit Firefighter Training Program at the Academy will begin August 9.

About the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control

The Office of Fire Prevention and Control delivers a wide breadth of services to firefighters, emergency responders, state and local government agencies, public and private colleges, and the citizens of New York. The office advances public safety through firefighter training, education, fire prevention, investigative, special operations and technical rescue programs. The delivery of these essential services enables the office to make significant contributions to the safety of all of New York State.

About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or Instagram, or visit dhses.ny.gov.


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