Columbia Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins officially confirmed 27 new firefighters for the department as members of the 2020-01 CRFD Recruit Class graduated on the morning of July 24, 2020.
Each recruit was presented their badge at an outdoor ceremony held on the grounds of Benedict College. Commencement exercises were live streamed from the college for friends and family members of the recruits to enjoy. Due to the pandemic outside guests were not able to attend the graduation.
“I’m proud of each and every recruit class that has come through our department but what these men and women have done is highly commendable,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “During this unprecedented time they answered the call to serve as protectors of our city and county. Not only have they had to face intense training and the rising temperatures that come with each summer but also the added threat brought on by this virus.”
“I am highly proud of their accomplishments as well as our department’s training staff for facilitating this recruit school during what has been a most difficult period,” Jenkins added.
All members of class 20-01 will report to work beginning this Saturday July 25, 2020.
The department would like to congratulate the members of Recruit Class 2020-01
Robert E. Ford Jr.
Gary Gardner Jr.
Harold Goethe III
Franklyn Owen IV
John Terry III
Terrell Washington Jr.
The department also presented several awards during the ceremony including the Maltese Cross Award and the Bryan P. Roberts Award. Recruit Clayton Fripp would take home the Maltese Cross while Recruit Kevin O’Brien would earn the Bryan P. Roberts award.
The Jack. H. Veal Top Instructor Award for this recruit class would go to Fire Captain Chad Alexander.
Maltese Cross Award
The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection. It means that the firefighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his or her life…. just as the Crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man so many years ago. The Maltese Cross is a firefighter’s badge of honor, signifying that he or she works in courage, pride and honor.
Columbia-Richland Fire Rescue established this award to be presented to the top recruit as voted on by the class and instructors.
Bryan P. Roberts Award
In 2007, Bryan was hired to be part of the CFD Recruit Class 07-01. Unfortunately, Bryan passed away while at home, prior to the completion of recruit school. His fellow classmates dedicated the remaining portion of the recruit program to his honor. In Bryan’s honor and memory, the Columbia Fire Department set-up the Bryan P. Roberts Award in 2007. This award is to be presented to the recruit that has maintained the highest grade point average in each recruit school.