CPI hosts first Centre County firefighter graduation
Centre County Public Safety Training Center Coordinator Mark Keller is hoping a firefighters’ graduating held April 5 will become an annual tradition at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology. With 30 graduates of the 160-hour entry-level training course offered at the institute, this was the first and largest graduation of its kind in Centre Co., Keller said. The event included a formal graduation ceremony with guest speaker acting state Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego. Other local officials were also present, including the Centre Co. commissioners. During the graduation, James Watkins was given the inaugural leadership award, and Leonard Irwin and Josh Jabco received their black firefighter helmets as certified firefighters with the Logan Fire Company in Bellefonte. Keller said the class wrapped up March 25 with “a structure burn.” “This is just the basic entry-level training that all firefighters go through,” Keller said. “What makes this one a little more special is because the county fire departments have really pulled together to help make this class possible.” The CCPSTC organizes all training for firefighters in Centre County.