(Bradenton, FL—July 30, 2019) Manatee Technical College Fire Academy celebrated 10 award winners on July 25, 2019. Firefighter class #38 was a class of 20 students. What is also noteworthy is six of the 20 were women, and four of them were award winners.
Ashley Parcels earned the highest academic achievement award with a 97.3%. Caroline Curran and Larry Haymore tied for the award for practical skills performance; both achieved 99%. Philip Guidone won the award for the fastest time to complete the Firefighter Combat Challenge in only 3 minutes 47 seconds (7 minutes is the requirement). Guidone was the only US Veteran in the class.
Six students won awards for achieving perfect attendance: Anthony Williams, Michelle Vavra, Bradly Germain, Larry Haymore, Crystal Tucciarone, and William Quevedo.
Class speaker Tyler Gingras began his address to his fellow classmates and their families, with a quote from Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Quevedo and AJ Kwiatkowski presented the Academy with a US flag the class made from worn-out fire hose that was scheduled for the dumpster. It will be hung in the Academy at the East Campus.
The awards celebrations took place in the Wagner Auditorium at the MTC Main Campus on State Road 70. Fire chiefs and other personnel were in attendance in support of the class. Captain John Curran, St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, was in the audience for his daughter Caroline, who said of her father, “He has the coolest job and I want to be just like him.”
The other students in the class were Samson Berthal, Manuel Camacho, Chase Main, Anthony Martin, Patrick McCoy, Nathan Remillard, Hailey Stoffel, Ruth Ann Unruh, and Jacob Vail.
To date, ninety percent of the students in this class have passed the practical portion of the certifying exam; they are now in the process of taking the written portion. In addition to the exam, completion of the Academy is a statutory requirement to be employed as a firefighter in the state.