Over a dozen volunteers have formally become firefighters with Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services.
The 16 volunteers officially transitioned into that role during a ceremony held on Friday at Ball Ground United Methodist Church.
Volunteers completing certification were: Juan Arango, William Armstrong, Ryan Barker, Joseph Bleekrode, Aaron Caudill, Molly Childs, Tommy Curtis, Emily Goss, Michael Heard, David Jones, Barrett Kreiner, Samuel Lackender, Authur Mosely, Kevin O’Neal, Katie Payne and Chad Rooks.
The evening began with an invocation by Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services Chaplain Dana McPherson and the presentation of colors and pledge of allegiance by the Fire Explorers Color Guard. The Keynote Speaker for the evening was John Weaver of Canton-based Mauldin Body Shop.
After Weaver’s speech, a couple of the firefighters received special awards. Barrett Kreiner received the Pinnacle Award and Molly Childs was the recipient of the Lewis Williams Outstanding Achievement Award.
Lewis Williams was a firefighter who died in the line of duty and is the father of Cherokee County firefighter Jason Williams. Lt. Scott Deal also presented a certificate of appreciation to Mark Cornelius, a volunteer firefighter with Hickory Flat, for his support and assistance for helping with the training of these new volunteers.
Cornelius, who said the class started during the third week of March, added the training was held at the agency's new facility. The class originally started with 22 students, but only finished with 16 receiving their certification.
The volunteers who participated in the course learned the fundamentals of fire behavior and proceeds through water supplies, protective equipment and breathing apparatus, hose nozzles, forcible entry, fire streams, suppression techniques, ventilation, and other topics necessary to provide a firefighter with the basic knowledge of firefighting.