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City of Clarksville swears in new Firefighters

 

19 recent academy grads ready to protect growing City

City of Clarksville - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – A couple of weeks ago, Clarksville Fire Rescue’s big news was all about bricks and mortar as a gleaming new Fire Station 11 was dedicated.

Last week, however, the focus turned to the flesh-and-blood, brains-and-brawn part of the equation.

Clarksville Fire Rescue Chief Mike Roberts and Mayor Kim McMillan welcomed 19 new firefighters to the department on Friday.

Clarksville Fire Rescue Chief Mike Roberts and Mayor Kim McMillan welcomed 19 new firefighters to the department on Friday.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan and Fire Chief Mike Roberts administered the service oath to 19 fresh graduates of the fire academy on November 18th at the Wilma Rudolph Event Center.

The audience of about 250 people was a grand collection of best friends, spouses, children, parents and grandparents of the new firefighters.

After taking the oath, each newly sworn member of Clarksville Fire Rescue was “pinned” with the department’s insignia and treated to hugs, kisses, handshakes, applause and more than few tears of joy.

Clarksville Fire Rescue hired 20 new firefighters earlier this year – 15 to meet staffing needs at Fire Station 11 when it opens November 29th, and five to cover retirements and promotions across the department. Nineteen went to the academy for training, and one was a former Clarksville firefighter who was sufficiently experienced and returned to the force upon being hired in August.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan smiles at Lexie Huff, infant daughter of newly sworn Clarksville Firefighter Matt Huff. Lexie was born on Huff’s third day at the fire academy earlier this year. Huff was among 19 new firefighters who took the Clarksville Fire Rescue service oath Friday.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan smiles at Lexie Huff, infant daughter of newly sworn Clarksville Firefighter Matt Huff. Lexie was born on Huff’s third day at the fire academy earlier this year. Huff was among 19 new firefighters who took the Clarksville Fire Rescue service oath Friday.

Clarksville’s population has soared 11.6 percent over the past five years, predicating the higher number of firefighters needed to protect and serve the growing number of people, homes and businesses. The City has built, equipped and staffed two new stations over the past two years.

Among those seizing the opportunity to join the growing force is Sara Carlisle, a former soldier and fitness trainer who on Friday became half of the first husband-and-wife team at Clarksville Fire Rescue.

Sara and Fire Engineer Jason Carlisle became the first husband-and-wife team to serve Clarksville Fire Rescue as Sara was sworn in Friday along with 18 other new firefighters. Son Levi, 6, was on hand for the ceremony.Her spouse, Fire Engineer Jason Carlisle, has been with the department for 15 years. Both said they thought working a firefighter’s schedule – which requires long shifts in residence at the station – would actually increase their family time because of the unique shift structure.

Then there’s Matt Huff, who was pinned by his wife, Chelsey. All the while, Chelsey’s grandmother, Kitty Woodall, gently rocked a sleeping Lexie Huff, the couple’s infant daughter who was born on Matt’s third day at the academy.

Stepping up to add a bit of brains and brawn to the latest class is Dominque White, who said he had completed a one-year contract to play professional football in Brazil, of all places, before deciding on a career in fire rescue. He played quarterback and safety in a collegiate career that included stints at Western Kentucky and Tusculum College. As White posed with family members for photos, the whole group beamed with pride and happiness.

“This is a great group of new firefighters,” Mayor McMillan said during a break in the picture-making. “I love to see all this excitement from the recruits and their families – they are happy to be here and we’re happy to have them. I think Clarksville can trust that our fire service is growing the right way, with new members who are talented, well-trained and dedicated.”


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