Decatur hires eight firefighters

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Monday was the very first day on the job for eight new members of Decatur Fire and Rescue. It'll be a year before they earn the title of firefighter.

Some youngsters never quite outgrow the dream of riding that big, red engine, of rushing head-on into the face of danger, of going one-on-one with the fire. Tyler Stinson says being a firefighter is all he's ever wanted to do.

"I grew up in a volunteer department and I've just always wanted to be a career firefighter, and I've always wanted to work in Decatur because this is closest to my hometown," Stinson says.

Tyler is one of eight new recruits that began their training Monday. They will spend 12 weeks in the academy. It is training designed to save their lives, and perhaps one day the lives of others.

"Fire training, EMS training, physical training, hazardous materials training, different kinds of training but all of it very difficult and worthy of wearing the helmet," says Decatur Fire Chief Tony Grande.

So what drives a person to seek out a career as dangerous as this?

"I just want to help people, I mean that's something I've always wanted to do, is help people," Stinson says.

When they graduate from the academy, they'll receive their assignments, their badges, and the leather front for their helmets identifying them as a member of the brotherhood of firefighters. A dream that some never quite outgrow. Thank goodness.

Several of the new firefighter candidates already have some formal training and experience. Tyler, for example, served as a volunteer firefighter in Somerville for several years.

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