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Tallahassee Fire Academy graduates Class 013 on Thursday

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 12, 2013) - The Tallahassee Fire Academy will graduate its thirteenth class this Thursday, June 13, at 7p.m. in a ceremony at the Florida Public Safety Institute’s Conference Center.
Assistant Director Lt. Colonel Mark Sauls of the Division of State Fire Marshal will be the evening’s guest speaker.
In addition to 450 hours of course work, the 31 graduating students also learned the importance of giving back to the community.
“We require the students to develop a community service project in order to instill a strong sense of servant leadership and civic responsibility,” said Melvin Stone, Tallahassee Fire Academy director. “The project reinforces the meaning of community involvement, raises awareness regarding those who are less fortunate and it allows them to be actively engaged in a humanitarian initiative.”
Under Stone’s leadership, each class is required to organize a class project in which it raises money to present to a local charity. While Stone serves as a guide throughout the project, the students have final say in what the fundraising event will be and where the proceeds will go.
On May 19, Class 013 held a car wash and raised $2,500. The students will present half to the Tallahassee Professional Firefighters Foundation, Inc. and half to the American Red Cross. The class is also credited with raising an additional $500 through the class officers assisting in an American Red Cross’ fundraising event at the Goodwood Museum on April 19. 
“The officers’ decision to assist the Red Cross above and beyond what they are required to do epitomizes the message of public service and was a life changing moment for all of us at the Tallahassee Fire Academy,” said Director Stone.
Looking ahead, Class 013 graduates are scheduled to take a two-part state examination on June 18 and 19. Results from the exam will be available in July.
With an average pass rate of 90 percent on the written and practical exam, the Tallahassee Fire Academy has catapulted into the upper echelon of the 42 academies in the state of Florida.
During Thursday’s ceremony, the Tallahassee Fire Academy will also present the following individual awards: The Executive Directors Award, the Leadership Award and the coveted Isaac Royal Memorial Award, an award given in honor of a former firefighter who died in 1981 at the age of 26. The award recognizes the firefighter recruit who leads by example in all categories, mobilizes and unifies people and works to ensure the success of him- or herself and others.
Class 013 graduates are:
  • Allbritton, Brenden W.
  • Arthur, William T.*
  • Brannen, Samuel L.
  • Brennan, Logan M.
  • Burnett, Kaitlyn S.
  • Burns, Thomas J.
  • Carney, Stephen W.
  • Clark, Ryan A.
  • Curtis, Yoklana S.*
  • D'Attilo, David A.
  • D'Attilo, Scott N.
  • Davis, Elizabeth C.
  • Dukes, Xzavier D.*
  • Estimphil, Bilthon
  • Fernandez, Sergio G.
  • Gaines, Brandon C.
  • Harris, Samuel L
  • Jones, Chazjuan D.
  • Matthews, Jesse H.
  • Mishler, Doug L.*
  • Moody, Justin B.*
  • Parker, Ryan L.
  • Pete, Sheldon L.
  • Pierce, Brett
  • Roberts, Christopher
  • Steele, Jesse A.
  • Stevens Jr., Robert M.
  • Strauss, Cody G.
  • Thompson, William T.
  • Ware, Nicholas A.
  • Woodson Jr., Joseph M.
* - denotes squad leader
Fire Academy Class 014 begins July 8 and applications are now being accepted for Class 015, which is scheduled to begin in January 2014.
For more information on the Tallahassee Fire Academy, contact Melvin Stone at or call (850) 558-4366.
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