Weatherford College Texas Fire Academy celebrates 10 year anniversary
Robert Spears, the academy’s first coordinator, and Jason Loyd, coordinator from 2002 to 2004, joined current department chair Steve Malley in celebrating the program’s evolution over the last decade.
“One of the most important traditions in the fire service is remembering those who came before us and how they got us to where we are today,” Malley said. “That was a big reason for wanting to do this. Our history is important.”
Dr. Kevin Eaton, interim WC president, and Dean Kathy Boswell also addressed the crowd on the role of WC in the community and the origins of the program.
In a somber moment, four fire academy cadets who had passed away since graduating were recognized: B.J. Carnes, Tim Fluke, Kyle Hall and Shane Richardson.
“If one of our former cadets passes away we feel like we have lost one of our own,” Malley said. “We can’t let that loss happen without acknowledging the part they played in our academy.”
Malley also spoke on the progression of the academy over the last 10 years, including higher entrance requirements for cadets, more stringent requirements for instructors, the addition of physical fitness to the academy, improved equipment purchased by the college, the involvement of former cadets in mentoring current cadets, etc.
The evening ended with a display in Texas Hall of former academy class plaques, photos, and a 10-year birthday cake.