Olympic Athlete Among Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services’ Firefighter Recruit Graduates
Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services hosted a graduation ceremony for its newest members on Friday June 1, at Tara Baptist Church. Among the Firefighter Recruit graduates is former Olympian, Mikel Thomas, who is the national record holder for Trinidad & Tobago in the 110 meter Hurdles.
“He certainly proved he was more than capable of facing the physical challenges of fighting fire, achieving the fastest time among nearly 500 applicants who participated in our required physical fitness assessment,” stated Fire Chief, Landry Merkison.
Recruit Mikel Thomas’ background also includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology & Exercise Science, three-time Olympian, three -time world championship appearances, seven-time national record holder, double Pan Am Games medalist, NACAC champion, NCAA All American, and of course, first-time Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services firefighter.
The 37 new-hire graduates have very diverse backgrounds, including 10 Georgia EMS-licensed paramedics, 9 Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians, Clayton County Public School graduates, a culinary arts major, former U.S. Navy and Army veterans, a gymnast, a Jr. Olympian, and individuals from outside of Georgia, including Trinidad, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Michigan.
The ceremony included a presentation of recruit awards for the top academic average, the top physical fitness score, and the top rung–best overall performance, as well as a recruit class speaker.
The entire recruit training program included more than 450 hours of classroom and hands-on skills practice that were designed to provide the basic training needed to operate safely and effectively at emergencies. This training also included learning 42 chapters on firefighting, confined space training, NPQ Firefighter certifications, Hazardous Materials certifications, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and vehicle extrication.
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