CONSHOHOCKEN PA – Tuesday night (July 26, 2011) was important to 38 firefighters in Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties, who officially graduated from the Montgomery County Fire Academy’s first Summer Essentials class that teaches entry-level fire-fighting skills. About a third of them are members of area departments, including one each from the Trappe Fire Company and Phoenixville Fire Department.
Summer Essentials, a day-time training program that offers four specialized courses over five weeks, is new this year at the academy, which worked with Montgomery County Community College. Its goal, instructors say, is to offer fire training in a format that allows college students to train as firefighters during their summer break.
The ceremony opened at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus, 1175 Conshohocken Rd., Conshohocken PA.
Among the graduating firefighters, who represent 26 different companies, are:
- Edward Henninger and Troy Yingling Jr., Gilbertsville;
- Donald Patton, Sanatoga Fire Company;
- Jennifer Horn and Benjamin Lerman, Upper Frederick;
- Gerald Zepp, Trappe;
- Michael Speck, Phoenixville;
- Greg Pinney and Matthew Dougherty, Schwenksville;
- Sarah Bretz, King of Prussia; and
- Joel Zimmermann, Valley Forge.
The commencement speaker was Michael Weider, who began his fire service career in 1979 as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Pennsburg PA. He now serves as associate director of Oklahoma State University ’s Fire Protection Publications, and executive director of the International Fire Service Training Association. Piper Bill Wilfong led the graduates into the auditorium.
Illustration from Google Images