Home News Local News Six new recruits join Roswell Fire Department

Six new recruits join Roswell Fire Department

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Pictured, from the left, Anna Geicold, 4, pins a badge on the lapel of her father, Slawomir Geicold, while her sister, Maja Geicold, 10, looks on at the graduation ceremony of the Roswell Fire Department’s 35th RFD Recruit Academy Thursday at Fire Station 3 on North Wilshire Boulevard. Geicold was one of six new RFD firefighters to graduate from the academy. (Alex Ross Photo)

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The Roswell Fire Department celebrated the graduation of six recruits from the RFD’s 35th Recruit Academy at a ceremony Thursday.

For about an hour, the graduates along with family members, current and past firefighters and city officials assembled in the Truck Room of Fire Station No. 3 on Wilshire Boulevard.

The six graduates were Lowell Franklin, Nathan Graehl, Joseph Martinez, Daniel Lloyd, Kaleb Pults and Slawomir Geicold.

Graduates were called up individually onto the dais and had a loved one pin a badge on them, symbolizing the start of the career of the graduates. All six were then sworn in as members of the Roswell Fire Department.

Jeff Stroble, a longtime fire apparatus operator who died from injuries following a June 5 explosion, was remembered during the ceremony with a moment of silence and the playing of bagpipes by Matt Miller, Roswell fire marshal.

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Franklin, 20, of Hagerman, said before the ceremony the occasion marked a big step for him professionally. A longtime volunteer with Hagerman Fire Department and EMS, Franklin said a friend suggested that he join the academy.

“It’s fun being able to help out your community and give a little back for everybody else,” Franklin said.

The occasion was one of pride for the families of the graduates. Mel Franklin, Lowell’s father, said his son worked very hard to graduate.

“A lot of long hours for him, a lot of lack of sleep. He has just worked really, really hard and I am just really, really proud of him as I have been from the day he was born,” Mel Franklin said.

The ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.

Tom Graham, divisions and training chief, addressed the crowd.

In their 16 weeks at the academy, recruits underwent 625 hours of training in areas such as firefighting levels 1 and 2, hazardous materials awareness and operations, Tom Graham said. They also had five weeks of EMT training. Recruits were also afforded the chance to learn to drive a fire truck.

Tom Graham added that though their stint at the academy has concluded, they will need to keep learning.

“As you transition from your seat in the classroom to a seat in the truck, remember your training always. And be willing to learn from those who had gone before and train those who came behind you,” he said.

Devin Graham, chief of the Roswell Fire Department, told graduates their new jobs will often take them away from their families, and they should never take for granted the time they will have with their family. He added that as firefighters they will fill an important role in the community.

“People do not call 911 if they are having a good day. They could be possibly having the worst day of their life and you are their fixer,” Devin Graham said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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