New class of cadets graduate Phila. Firefighter Academy

January 30, 2013 3:06:02 PM PST
A new class of cadets graduated from Philadelphia's Firefighter Academy today.

One of the 181 cadets to graduate from the Academy is John Redmond.

His father, John J. Redmond, died while fighting a church blaze in South Philadelphia in 1994

It is quite apparent the younger Redmond is honored to follow his late father's footsteps.

All of these men and women understand the risks.

"That's my job, that's what I signed up for. I'm not afraid, just ready to get in there," firefighter Tristan Inniss said.

Mayor Nutter, who has been at odds with the firefighter union over their contract and the city's rolling brownout policy, ignored a solitary boo as he prepared to congratulate the cadets at Penn's Irvine Auditorium.

"Every day we know and you know and your families know that you will be putting your life on the line to make everyone else safer," Nutter said.

This was the first firefighting class in the US to be trained in the new Community Risk Reduction Program.

It is designed to enhance firefighting techniques and could become standard across the nation.

"Zero fire deaths is our goal. No one should have to die, perish, lose their possessions in a fire, become critically injured and have to take that through life with them," Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said.

Benjamin Franklin founded the University of Pennsylvania and help found the first fire company ever, back in 1736.

Back then, they used leather buckets and bags to fight fires.

They have come a long way.