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Vaughan Fire offers advice to its rookies
Written by Olivia D'Orazio   
Jan. 16, 2014, Vaughan, Ont. – The latest class of recruits from the City of Vaughan in Ontario heard what it takes to be a successful firefighter from the city’s fire-service leaders at their graduation ceremony on Jan. 15.

Deputy Fire Chief Deryn Rizzi, who was formally promoted from captain at the ceremony, told recruits that a strong will to help others must permeate everything a firefighter does.

Deputy Fire Chief Deryn Rizzi addresses recruits at Vaughan Fire & Rescue Service's 2013 graduation ceremony.
Photo by Olivia D'Orazio.

“This job isn’t about you,” she told the two graduating classes, “it’s about what you can do for the citizens of Vaughan.”

Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Interim City Manager Barbara Cribbett also addressed recruits. Bevilacqua shared instances of his strong working relationship with the department, while Cribbett told recruits: “You are joining an incredible team in Vaughan Fire.”

Before the 30 recruits could officially convocate, Fire Chief Larry Bentley awarded several promotions, in addition to Rizzi’s, including three platoon chiefs, nine captains and one training officer.

Then, one by one, the recruits walked across the stage to officially achieve what they had been working toward for weeks.

In his address to the newest members of Vaughan Fire & Rescue, Chief Bentley told recruits to be cognizant of their actions from day one.

“The fire service is an extremely proud profession, built on passion, tradition and self-sacrifice,” he said.

“You start your legacy the first time you walk through the fire hall door on your first day.”

Two recruits in particular already started their careers on the right foot. Jennifer Heslin, from Class 1, and Matthew Harris, from Class 2, were each presented with the Training Officers’ Award for the outstanding leadership qualities they displayed during the training program.

Vaughan Fire & Rescue Service protects nearly 300,000 people throughout 275 square kilometres. The department responded to more than 10,280 calls in 2012.