A class of 23 cadets have made it through the Chattanooga Fire Academy’s six-month program to become the newest members of the Chattanooga Fire Department.
“These firefighters are the future of our agency,” says Lindsay Rogers, CFP representative. “They completed EMT training and mastered a number of other skills, like vehicle extrication, how to save a downed or injured firefighter, and how to save themselves if they become trapped or disoriented while fighting a fire. We’re proud of them.”
The class contains the highest percentage of women graduating from a CFD Fire Academy. The group includes Paige Anderson, Emily Bell and Myrrhande Haskett.
Haskett played professional women’s basketball in Mexico, Romania and Morocco, where her team won a championship. She then retired and joined the fire department.
Another recruit, Samuel Seamster, was a football star at Ooltewah High School. He went on to play football at Middle Tennessee State University and in the NFL.
Seamster played for the Dolphins, Saints, Bills, Cowboys and Jaguars as a cornerback and defensive back before retiring and joining the fire department.
Military veterans in the class include Thomas Clark (Army), Tyler Hansen (Marines), Joshua Smelser (Army National Guard) and Austin Mays (Air Force).
A set of twins also graduated with this class. Matthew and Michael Miller own a local farm and responded to wildfires across the country as part of a wild land firefighter crew.
Several of the graduates are carrying on a family legacy by following in their fathers’ footsteps.
Austin Mays’ dad was a senior firefighter with CFD. Jarrad Peace’s father is a retired CFD captain who served the city from 1987-2017.
Both retired firefighters were present at the graduation Oct. 10 at Clear Creek Church of Christ.