The Fire Science Academy of Manatee Technical College graduated firefighter class No. 29 Saturday at MTC’s East Campus.
The Manatee County Honor Guard led the processional of the 14 graduates: Timothy Bedell, Josiah Berry, Charles Bishop, Gabriel Hudson, Marvin Jones, Trevor Lovett, Anthony Quigley, Monica Ramos, Nicolas Stecher, John Sturm, Luke Turner, Timothy Villars, Jacob Weinberger, Steven Wilson, and Talon Zieschang.
Gabriel Hudson and Talon Zieschang tied for highest academic achievement award with a 96 percent grade average.
The physical agility award went to John Sturm for completing the combat challenge in three minutes, four seconds. Students must complete the challenge in 9 minutes to pass.
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Trevor Lovett and Talon Zieschang tied for the practical skills performance award, each scoring 180 out of 180 possible points.
Instructors Chief Bill Kebler and Chief Steve Trompke presented the awards. Fire Academy coordinator Chief Henry Sheffield and Adult, Career and Technical Education director Doug Wagner presented graduation certificates.
The MTC Fire Science Academy is approved by the Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training. Completion of the Fire Fighter program and passage of the state certification examination are statutory requirements to be employed as a Fire Fighter in Florida. The MTC Fire Academy pass rate on the state certification exam is 94 percent.