KANSAS CITY, Mo — The Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department welcomed its largest graduating class in KCFD history on Saturday morning as 106 cadets were sworn in and pinned.
It is also the most diverse class with 40 percent minority races or females. The increase in diversity is about a 20 percent jump compared to former classes.
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Isaiah Russell, one of the cadets who graduated, says the work has just begun.
“It’s amazing first of all, but it’s also bit of a responsibility now to people who look like me," Russel said. "You know, there’s women in my class that young ladies look up to."
The ceremony started with the Presentation of Colors and national anthem. Several speakers took the podium to share messages of encouragement, followed by calling the names of the cadets.
Chief Ross Grundyson says this historic class is a huge help in addressing on-going staffing shortage as well. He is looking forward to minimizing burnout among his firefighters.
“We’re going to put another class of about 40 to 50 through starting in March, and after that we should be pretty much fully staffed,” Grundyson said.
Jacob Boling was among those who graduated from the academy Saturday. He says embarking on the next chapter of his career is that much more special because of the those around him.
“There’s people from all walks of life and enjoyed every second of it,” Boling said.