Six months ago, Hunter Adams walked across his high school stage for graduation. Friday night, he graduated again, this time from Firefighter I/II Certification School.
Adams is one of four of Enterprise Fire Department’s newest firefighters. Chris Bedsole, Bruce Hardy, and Addison Hudson also graduated from the 11-week course that focuses on the basics of firefighting, hazmat, rapid intervention, and more.
“I’ve always thought being a firefighter was pretty cool,” Adams said. He’s the first in his family to become a firefighter. His parents, grandparents, girlfriend, and her mom attended graduation. But now his family unit and support system are even bigger. He’s now part of a unique brotherhood.
“I knew nobody going into the course, but the guys I was in school with, being with them every day, we got really close.” Even though three of the four are now on different shifts, Adams said he expects them to remain close, especially because they’re all considered rookies.
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“I really have no clue what I’m doing. I mean I’ve been to school, and I’ve been on shift a couple of times, but it’s an all new experience. I really don’t know anything, but I’m looking forward to doing the job and learning from these guys,” Adams said, referencing the handful of other firefighters nearby.
There’s not only a brotherhood among them, but a natural mentorship that forms in the fire station. Enterprise Fire Department runs on a one day on, two days off schedule.
Each station has five or six people working that shift, so the firefighters are bound to bond. At 19, Adams is one of the youngest. The average age in the department is 37, with nine years of experience and plenty of stories to tell.
That mentorship and bond is something Enterprise Fire Chief Christopher Davis is depending on. He said while the new firefighters aren’t directly assigned mentors, he expects the senior firefighters to keep a close eye on the newer ones.