Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Friday, July 16, the Hattiesburg Fire Department held graduation for Recruit Class 21-01.
“We are proud of this class and the efforts they present as they now become acclimated to serving the citizens of Hattiesburg through fire service,” said Fire Chief Sherrocko Stewart.
This class included seven firefighters, including the City’s first female firefighter.
- Josue Gutierrez
- Rishav Poudel
- Dylan Anglin
- Mystee Dale
- Chance Woodard
- Steven Boglin
- Zadrenod Rhodes
“Class 21-01 will forever stand out as one of the most talented, hardest working, unified and diverse classes in our department’s history. While today is about all seven recruits, we must also note the weight of this occasion,” said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker. “Firefighter Dale is the first woman to graduate and wear the uniform of a Hattiesburg firefighter, but she certainly won’t be the last. As a father of a daughter, I thank her for her perseverance. What she accomplished will echo through time and affect little girls in our city for generations to come.”
Barker added, “She, along with Firefighters Gutierrez, Poudel, Anglin, Woodard, Boglin and Rhodes…are passing the torch to a new generation of firefighters. As our department grows and reaches new heights, the legacy of that department now falls to them.”
During graduation, awards for physical fitness, academics and leadership were also distributed. Awardees named include:
- Academic Award – Firefighter Dylan Anglin
- Physical Fitness – Firefighter Josue Gutierrez
- Leadership Award – Firefighter Chance Woodard
The academy is 12 weeks long and all recruits are trained to withstand the physical requirements of the job (extra gear weight in all weather types) along with the mechanics of being a firefighter. All training is amplified by acclimating each recruit to “the Hattiesburg Way,” which is rooted in service and integrity.
“It’s our hope to continue training quality firefighters who are passionate about serving our community,” said Battalion Chief Chris Carr, director of fire training. “Because we host our own academy, these recruits have learned the physical, mental and academic requirements necessary for a firefighter – but within the scope of what it means to be a Hattiesburg Fire Department firefighter. We are very proud of their efforts”