Broken Arrow added 19 firefighters to its department Friday, making this group the second largest graduating class in the department's history.
The city of Broken Arrow promised voters they would hire 20 new firefighters by 2020 and Fire Chief Jeremy Moore says today's graduation is a fulfillment of that promise.
Five months of rigorous training — on everything from technical rescue and emergency management skills to hazardous material operations — has come to an end.
Today, 19 men graduated from the Broken Arrow Fire Academy
"It's been a journey for the last five months, a journey that I really didn't think I was gonna be in," says Fireman Robert Castillo. "I'm 43 years old. So I'm the oldest guy in academy, most of the kids in my academy are about 20 so they are my kids age."
"It's exceptional that we were able to build this partnership with Tulsa Community College and we look forward to a bright future for these students," says Fire Chief Jeremy Moore.
Broken Arrow residents voted two years ago to renew the Vision 2025 sales tax. Part of that money is paying for the new firefighters.
"I haven't met anybody yet that is not happy to be here and loves their job and what kind of person does not want a job like that," Castillo says.
The firefighters start work next week.