MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Twenty new Myrtle Beach firefighters will hit the ground running after completing their 13-week training course.
The young men and women were honored at their graduation ceremony Friday morning at the Base Recreation Center.
Recruit Class 28 took an oath before their fellow brothers and loved ones during the graduation ceremony. The class vowed to do their best to serve, honor, and respect the community.
Myrtle Beach Fire Chief Alvin Payne spoke some words of encouragement to the recruit class and welcomed them to the firefighter family.
"This a brotherhood. This is a family," Payne told the class.
He also advised them to be mindful of their attitude and keep negativity out of their minds.
"Respect one another, the people you serve, your brothers and your family," said Payne.
The keynote speaker for the graduation ceremony was Chief Joey Tanner, with Horry County Fire Rescue.
"You have to learn every day that you work here. For the rest of your career, you build that foundation," Tanner told the firefighters. "I want you to take that foundation that you received these 13 weeks and build from that all the way through your career. You need to understand that you have earned the right to call yourself a Myrtle Beach firefighter."
Graduate Nicole Perry, who moved from West Virginia to Myrtle Beach to join the department, said the training was physically and mentally exhausting, but was worth it.
"The real work will be begin for me on Sunday, but it is exciting," said Perry. "This is a small chapter in our careers, and we are going to keep learning, keep growing and keep serving this community."
Family members took part in the ceremony by pinning the promotion badge onto each of the respected firefighters' chests.
The 20 firefighters were selected out of the 600 applicants who applied.