The Lawton Fire Department welcomed seven new members during a graduation ceremony Friday at City Hall.
The new firefighters, Kynel Daniels, Jesse Dodson, Jax Emmons, Callum Hill, Kobe Houseman, Elijah Hoyt and Joshua Turk, received their badges from Fire Chief Jared Williams. All of them have prior experience, which helped the Lawton Fire Department to compress their training into only four weeks, Williams said.
“All of them already had their Fire Fighter I and II certifications as well as EMT,” Williams said. “We could capitalize on their experience.”
According to him, the seven firefighters started responding to calls last Monday. This is necessary, because the Fire Department has lost 250 years of combined experience just since February due to retirements.
“They’re doing a great job and have the respect of their peers,” Williams said.
“This is an exciting day,” Lawton Mayor Stan Booker said. “There isn’t a boy out there who hasn’t dreamt to be a fireman.”
Booker, same as Williams, highlighted the experience the new firefighters bring.
“This is an elite group joining an elite group,” he said. “We expect big things from these seven.”
Jesse Dodson, besides receiving his badge, was also awarded with the Leadership Award. He has eight years of prior experience and was able to help his peers during the training period.
“I moved here because of the department and their training opportunities,” Dodson, who worked in Anadarko before coming to Lawton, said. “I’m very proud to be part of this department.”