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22 graduate in region from firefighting training

Twenty-two firefighters from MABAS Division 25 departments graduated May 23 from the State of Illinois Basic Operations Firefighter Class.

Students started class Jan. 8 and had class every Tuesday and Thursday nights, and some weekend classes.

These students were trained in the basic skills of firefighting. Some of these skills included fire behavior, forcible entry, fire attack, water supply, emergency vehicle driving, hazmat and technical rescue awareness.

Students have logged more than 250 hours of training during this five-month period. Instructors were members of area fire departments and the Illinois Fire Service Institute. Classes were conducted in Oglesby, Utica, Peru, Wallace, Ottawa, Sandwich and Streator.

Students will be eligible for certification through the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Departments that participated: Wallace 5, Seneca 4, Grand Ridge 4, La Salle 2, Oglesby 2, Spring Valley 2, Troy Grove 1, Tonica 1, Marseilles 1.

The class valedictorian was Matthew Wooton, of Seneca Fire Protection District; most dedicated was Haley Beach, of Grand Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, and the Ed Rogers Leadership Award was given to Phil Durdan, of Grand Ridge Volunteer Fire Department.

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