NEW YORK - On Tuesday, 301 probationary firefighters graduated from the FDNY Fire Academy, but this year’s graduation had an extra bit of meaning, as 19 of the graduates are children of first responders who died on 9/11 or from a 9/11-related illness. 2019’s class is the largest group of legacy graduates in the FDNY’s history.
“Making my dad proud. It’s definitely something that he always wanted me to do,” said Robert Tilearcio. “I took the FDNY test the same month that my father passed away of 9/11-related cancer.”
The class also reflects New York City’s diversity, with people of color making up 37% of the graduates and the second-largest number of women to join the force.
All of the probationary firefighters will now be assigned to firehouses throughout New York City.