COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Colorado Springs Fire Department welcomed some fresh faces to the team Friday afternoon during the graduation of the class of 2016.
The 19 new firefighters had to complete 17 weeks of rigorous training before they were given their badges.
“I worked really hard to get here and it hasn’t really sank it yet,” said C.J. Sidebottom, a new CSFD firefighter. “All the family, friends, people who have been supporting me for years. The culmination of all that, it’s unbelievable. I couldn’t be happier.”
Sidebottom had been waiting for this moment for a long time.
“I’ve been working on becoming a firefighter for seven years, actively pursuing it. I’ve wanted to do it ever since my dad became a fireman,” he said.
Loved ones were asked to do the honor of pinning the badge, recognizing their sacrifices and support for a demanding career. Mayor John Suthers called it a great privilege and a great responsibility.
“I love it here. It’s a community that’s really embraced me, wonderful people, and to have a chance to get out and return some of what the community has done for me is a true blessing,” said Sidebottom. “I can’t wait to get started.”