(Left to right) Back row: Academy Captain Joel Swecker, Nathan Summers, Eli Spencer, District 5 Assistant Chief Jeff Lee, District 1 Chief Mark Connor, Brent Wilson, Shannon Summers. Front row: Jared Kasinger, Tracy Summers, Shawnee Bunyard, District 5 Chief Eric Linn. Graduates not pictured: William Phipps, Caleb Thomas, Mike Ellis and Landon Cruickshank.
Twelve recruits have just graduated from a state firefighter’s academy hosted by Napavine after completing more than three months of rigorous training.
Led by Training Officer and Academy Captain Joel Swecker, recruits from Fire Districts in Onalaska, Toledo and Napavine, as well as the Riverside Fire Authority, participated in both academic and hand-on training which included everything from basic safety procedures to handling live fires.
“I’m super proud of them,” said Swecker of his recruits Monday night during a graduation ceremony at Lewis County Fire District 5 headquarters.
Swecker said completing the academy not only provides recruits with valuable knowledge and skills they can take into the field, but also qualifies them to seek national firefighting certification through more intensive training, which they could then use to work for any department in the United States.While this was not the first academy hosted by Napavine, it was the first led by Swecker, who said he looks forward to the possibility of hosting another such academy starting next March.