The New Recruits Graduate

Locals complete active and memorable Fire Academy training.

After 18 weeks of intense training, Stephanie Firestone and Justin Siemieniewski successfully graduated from Fire Academy this summer. Looking back on her experience, Firestone says the hardest part was the beginning, when she was first introduced to the heavy equipment, which she felt less intimated by each week as her skill set developed.

As two of thirteen trainees, Firestone and Siemieniewski put their teamwork skills to use in one memorable training session last April, when they put out a live fire for the very first time at a cement house in the St. Paul training facility. “It was the first time we experienced true heat like that, even in our full protective gear,” Siemieniewski says. Together Firestone and Siemieniewski, along with the other three Maple Grove recruits, are looking forward to applying their skills as paid, on-call firefighter apprentices before finishing up the second part of formal training next year as emergency medical responders.