The process of hiring a firefighter is a lengthy endeavor. The hiring process typically entails interviewing hundreds of qualified candidates over several months, going through background checks, physical exams, and mental health evaluations, all before those selected to move forward in the hiring process embark on a 20-week long journey through Fire Academy. Those hired in a given year typically don’t see their first shift until the following year. It’s a big investment from our community, our organization, the individuals aspiring to join the team, and their friends and family. It is why becoming a firefighter is such a special vocation. It’s a competitive and unique industry to break into.
Three of our recruits from our Fall of 2021 hiring session are celebrating making it through this process and starting their first shifts as Probationary Firefighters for Renton RFA! Brendon McIntyre, Marc Simonpietri, and Shane Walter all recently completed the South King County Fire Training Consortium’s fire academy and were celebrated during the May 19, 2022 graduation ceremony here in Renton. In addition to conquering the feat of fire academy, our own Marc Simonpietri won both the Class Valedictorian Award, bestowed on the individual with the highest academic scores in that graduating class, as well as the Chief’s Company Award, which is voted on by the academy instructors themselves.
We not only thank these individuals for their incredible hard work and dedication to this process – all for the purpose of serving the Renton community – but also, their family and friends for the unyielding support they provided through this process. Fire academy is a demanding and difficult. It pushes candidates to their limits academically, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It requires copious amounts of time, energy, and focus, which can often demand a sacrifice of time, energy and focus from other areas of life. We recognize the strength of both of our members through this process, as well as their loved ones who support them through it. We are grateful for their sacrifice and welcome them into our fire family with open arms.