Fire Science Academy graduates class #27

(Bradenton, FL—March 12, 2016)   The Fire Science Academy of Manatee Technical College graduated class number 27 on Saturday, March 12, 2016, at MTC’s Main Campus.


The Manatee County Honor Guard led the processional of the 15 graduates: Daniel Akoghlananian, Rebecca Durham, John Finnan, Isaac Haseley, Danny Jason, Robert Kohlmeier, Andrew Krueger, Evan Moore, Charlie Otero, Alex Pollitt, Marco Rivera, Jeff Rivera, Jeff Robinson, Riley Thornton, Brandon Tinyes, and Ryan Walker.


Keynote speaker Ed Cleveland, Fire Chief, retired, West Manatee Fire Rescue, told the graduates, “Some of the most important things you’ll learn are from those who have been on the job for 10, 15, 20 years.”


For the first time in the Academy’s history, five graduates had perfect attendance: Akoghlanian, Jason, Krueger, Moore, and Robinson.  The Fire Fighter program is 600 clock hours at MTC East.


Krueger also earned the top Academic award for a 98.05% grade point average.  Rivera earned the Physical Agility award for completing the combat challenge in three minutes 6 seconds (3:06)—the students must complete the challenge in 9 minutes; he was also recognized for the highest GPA in EMT.  The Practical Skills award went to Jason.


Krueger was also presented with a scholarship award from the Suncoast Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Leatherheads (FOOLS), a fire fighter organization focused on bravery, camaraderie and pride. Presenting the award was Garett Lindgren, Sr., retired from the New York City Fire Department. He first met the Suncoast FOOLS when they arrived at his company immediately after 9/11.  Lindgren urged the graduates, “Don’t take a second of your career for granted.”


Debbie Wendt presented scholarships to graduates and combat veterans Haseley and Kohlmeier.  The scholarships were given in remembrance of her brother Donnie Wendt, a 2001 graduate of the Academy and Bronze Star recipient who died a casualty of war in 2014.  Krueger and Otero were also recognized as veterans.


Board chair Karen Carpenter and board members Bob Gause and David Miner and Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene shook hands with each graduate as they received their certificates.  Greene and Carpenter extended their congratulations and made closing remarks.


Dr. Greene told the graduates, “It is personally gratifying to me to see you graduate.  My brother is also a firefighter EMT paramedic.”


Carpenter closed with, “This community will be stronger and safer because of your commitment.”


The MTC Fire Science Academy is approved by the Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training.  Completion of the Fire Fighter program and passage of the state certification examination are statutory requirements to be employed as a Fire Fighter in Florida.  The MTC Fire Academy pass rate on the state certification exam is 94%.

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