GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Greenville Fire-Rescue graduated its 18th academy of students on Friday morning. Family, friends, mentors and officials gathered at City Hall to celebrate these new firefighters and EMTs.

These responders have over 800 hours of training in fire and EMS, along with a strong brotherhood. The 12 graduates are now ready to don the title of firefighter and help save lives. The new firefighters and EMTs said they could not have done it without their fellow classmates’ support.

“It was a challenge. It was hard. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all the fellow guys in there. We all did a lot together, worked hard, a lot of good relationships during all of it, but it was challenging,” said Daniel Hardee, firefighter and EMT.

These first responders added that they look forward to their first shift and continuing to learn on the job.