The Kinston Fire Department is growing.
More than a dozen prospective firefighters are taking an oath to serve and protect.
Training, teamwork, long hours of studying and maintaining a strong work ethic are all ingredients to prepare these men for helping the city of Kinston.
For some of the trainees, this is a lifelong dream come true.
Mark Neal is a Jacksonville native and heard that the Kinston Fire and Rescue develops leaders.
“I always loved looking at the fire trucks and seeing the firehouse and always wanted to see what was going inside,” said Neal. “Fireman, Policemen, E.M.S., they’re all there to help and great people.”
The team-work is a plus.
“It’s truly becoming a part of another family,” said Neal. “I end up spending more time with these people than I do with a lot of my extended blood relatives.”
More than a dozen of trainees– all entering the next phase of helping the community.
Mickey Neal is a military veteran and Mark’s father.
“Mark has always been the kid that if something needed to be done, he was always the first one to help,” said Mickey. “He’s proud to be a servant and serving people and it’s a blessing to be here.”
The Neal’s say there’s an important lesson to remember moving forward.
“They can’t do it themselves, they have to work together,” said Micky Neal. “We don’t know if we’re going to be coming home or not, so we’re trusting each other with our lives,” said Mark Neal.
While this is the first step to becoming a firefighter, the trainees still have a year left of on-going state training.