Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins announced the graduation of 25 members of the Columbia Fire Department’s Recruit Class 17-01 during a graduation ceremony held last night, Thursday, July 27, 2017 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, South Carolina.
Chief Jenkins said, “I am very proud of these recruits, now Probationary Firefighters for their accomplishments and dedication they have shown over the last 18 weeks and will expect the same as they begin their career with the Columbia Fire Department.” These 25 Probationary Firefighters will begin their firefighter careers this weekend as they report to their shifts.
The Columbia Fire Department also presented to awards during the ceremony; the Maltese Cross Award and the Bryan P. Roberts Award; both awards were presented to Probationary Firefighter Javier Colon.
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. The Columbia Fire Department established this award to be presented to the top recruit as voted on by the class and instructors.
Brian 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.