June 21, 2024

Graduates of Fire Recruit Training Academy honored at meeting

Brian Woods stands with new firefighters Justin Johnson, Jeremy Martin and Corey Bunch, and South-Doyle Principal Tim Berry

The Knoxville School Board Meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 4 began by recognizing some outstanding young men in the community. These individuals were the first graduates of the Fire Recruit Training Academy, which is based out of South-Doyle High School in Knoxville.

The instructor of this course, Brian Woods, stood at the podium and showered the young men in praise for what they had accomplished in the program. The three individuals recognized at the meeting were Justin Johnson, Jeremy Martin and Corey Bunch.

The praise given to these young men was entirely warranted, Woods said, because of the intensity of the fire simulations they were subjected to in training.

“We put them in the big burning boxes, and they were fighting fire out there,” Woods said. “There was no air conditioning whatsoever. It was about 600-700 degrees in those boxes, and they went in and put them out.”

Woods said there was no questioning the young men’s courage and determination following their completion of the course. Now there is no questioning their employment status.

“There are other fire training programs that do structured firefighter training in high schools, but ours is the only one with the promise of a job,” Woods said. “They’ve climbed ladders, they’ve pulled hoses, tied knots, you name it, and now they’re out here to serve the community.”

South-Doyle Principal, Tim Berry, also spoke highly of the program’s new graduates.

“I think today is just a benchmark for what is to come. I think our real pride is going to be when we read about these young men, and learn that they saved a life, or they saved a home, or the livelihood of some family,” Berry said.

Johnson, Martin and Bunch are the first of what South-Doyle hopes to be many graduates of the Fire Recruit Training Academy.


Edited by Jennifer Brake