July 8, 2021

Nine to Graduate from Virginia Beach Fire Academy, Friday, July 9

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (July 8, 2021) — This Friday, July 9, the Virginia Beach Fire Department will host a graduation ceremony for nine students, from Virginia Beach Fire Academy 5. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. in Bennett Hall at the Harry E. Diezel Fire Training Center, 927 S. Birdneck Road. The academy, which started in February, will also swear in April Achesinski who will be the first full-time Emergency Medical Services Instruction Supervisor for the Virginia Beach Fire Department. Achesinski worked part-time for the fire department and is a life member of Kempsville Volunteer Rescue Squad with more than 25 years of service.

To graduate, the recruits must successfully complete 19 weeks of training and meet the department's rigorous requirements for graduation. Requirements include: Emergency Medical Services certifications in EMT- Basic and CPR; Fire Certifications from the state of Virginia for Firefighter 1 and 2; Introduction to Technical Rescue, Surface Water Rescue, Mayday Firefighter Down, Vehicle Rescue, Hazmat Awareness and Operations; and Emergency Vehicle Operators Course.

Firefighters provide skilled emergency, medical pre-hospital, and non-emergency services in a variety of areas including fire suppression, extrication, medical pre-hospital assistance, public education, and information. Firefighters are assigned to work a 24-hour shift, or other assigned shift, responding as needed during that shift. During the first six years, a VBFD Firefighter is assigned to a schedule that works extended hours that may include a 72-hour work week. Recruits receive an annual salary while attending the six-month academy. Upon graduation, recruits become probationary firefighters. They will receive their new station assignments during the graduation ceremony.

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