9 new firefighters 'pinned'

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Covington’s nine new firefighters pose with their trainers after receiving their badges. From left to right: Chase Autry, Peter Doherty, Mike Gullett, trainer Lt. Jimmy Adams, Brandon Padilla, Sara McPherson, Tyler Sipes, Ryan Ruberg, TJ Galliher, Kevin Davis, and trainer Assistant Chief Mike Bloemer.

Training complete, (experienced) Covington hires start work

COVINGTON, Ky. - Covington has nine new (experienced) firefighters.
 
Having completed eight weeks of in-house training, the nine were officially “pinned” with their Covington Fire Department badges on Friday, and many of them have already started working shifts at the City’s various firehouses.
 
All nine arrived with experience - some with as many as 15 years - from other fire departments.
 
“The ability to hire ‘laterals’ is giving us a large pool of very qualified people to hire from,” explained Fire Chief Mark Pierce.
 
Six of the new hires hold the position of firefighter/paramedics. Three are firefighter/EMTs.
 
None of the nine positions are new; rather, they were positions left vacant by recent retirements. (Driven by changes in the state pension system, the number of vacancies was unusually large.)
 
Lt. Jimmy Adams, who with Assistant Chief Mike Bloemer oversaw the training, said it included a wide variety of refresher skills (including primary EMS functions and 40 different fires at the training field off of Boron Drive); a review of Covington’s streets and layout, rules and regulations; and nuances that come with fighting fires in an urban environment.
 
For example, Adams said, in a suburban neighborhood, firefighters laying hose while responding to a house fire might have what’s essentially a straight shot to the fire across a wide yard, whereas on one of Covington’s tighter streets, firefighters might have to work around bumper-to-bumper parked cars, a wrought-iron fence, telephone poles, and other obstacles.
 
Since water-filled hoses are rigid (they can’t be piled up like coils in a rope), you have to be strategic about how you get a hose from a pumper or a hydrant to the fire, he said.
 
“So in those exercises we kept throwing an increasing number of obstacles at them,” Adams said. “Essentially, we were teaching them how to be urban firefighters.”
 
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