MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - For the past 13 weeks, 50 men and a woman have trained to become our city's next line of defense when it comes to fire and fire prevention.
Their training came to an end with live fire training exercises Thursday night.
"This is one of the most incredible jobs in the world. I like to tell people other than a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees, it gets no better than this," Memphis Fire Department Chief of Training Thomas Beasley said.
It's a job these trainees have been called to do - to serve and protect Memphis. But before they become the city's heroes, they must put in hours of training.
"They will learn how fire grows, how it affects the structure and how that affects our decision and operations. How we will attack a fire and how we will put a fire out," Beasley said.
The Academy teaches the men and women more than just how to put out a fire and roll up the hoses when they're done it will also teach them how to cope with the aftermaths of devastating calls.
"This will be the very first time we are actually going to bring some of our clinical psychologists in and teach them about posttraumatic stress disorder," Beasley said.
Graduating soon with the basic entry-level skills of firemen, the trainees will soon take those skills and use them during their 24 hours shifts.
The city of Memphis averages seven working fires a day.