CORK City Fire Brigade has officially welcomed six new members into its ranks at a graduation ceremony held at Ballyvolane Fire Station.
James Corcoran, Karl Daly, John Heffernan, Fearghal Murphy, Alan O’Leary and Mark O’Neill put on a demonstration for friends and family up at the station to show their nearest and dearest exactly what they were capable of.
As part of the official ceremony, the six new recruits tackled a third-floor fire, cut a casualty from a crashed car and rescued a casualty from the vicinity of a burning car as well as putting out a blazing vehicle.
Graduating firefighter James Corcoran, aged 35, said he had always wanted to be a firefighter and this was a very proud day for him.
James, who is from Blackrock originally, is following in his father Larry’s footsteps.
“My father was a firefighter in Cork city for 27 years. He retired in 2006, so I always had an interest," he said.
After school, he qualified as a carpenter and was self-employed for 12 years before joining the brigade.
“It is brilliant to be graduating,” James said.
“It's a relief. We did our initial 12 weeks training and then we did nine months on shift and the lads at the station have been amazing," he added.
Graduating was a big event for the whole family.
“It has been a tough year, there were a lot of late nights and study to be done," added James.
Sitting alongside James’ wife Joanna and his three children Elisha, Gabrielle and David, his father Larry said it was a very proud day for him.
“It’s great, James is the second eldest of seven children and they are all here today to see him graduate. It has been a long year but a very fruitful year for them at the same time. The training they are receiving is excellent and we are all very happy to be here.”
Wicklow man Fearghal Murphy, aged 28, also graduated yesterday as one of the six new recruits.
Fearghal and his wife Maria moved to Cork last year in order for him to be able to take up the position as a trainee firefighter with the Cork city brigade.
“I was always interested in becoming a firefighter. When I finished school the Dublin firefighters were not recruiting at all so I went to UCD and studied Geography.
"When I finished that I started applying to different brigades. I did just under four years as a retained firefighter in Wicklow before I got the job in Cork.
“It's a bit surreal, it's been a busy few weeks and the year has flown by, but it is very exciting."
Attending the graduation ceremony for Fearghal were his parents Mel and Gene, sister Orna and his wife Maria who moved to Cork last year with Fearghal from Wicklow.
Maria told the Evening Echo, she was offered a promotion at her job, the day Fearghal was accepted into the training programme for the position of Cork City Fire Fighter and she gave up her job to move to Cork.
Maria said she is delighted for her husband and she enjoys living in Cork.
“Dublin was too big and too busy. I prefer Cork as it is a quieter city and there are a lot of opportunities to go hiking, which I love," he said.