Meet Raleigh’s Newest Firefighters – Recruit Graduation, December 5

On Thursday night, December 5, 2019, nineteen new firefighters will join the ranks of the Raleigh Fire Department. Recruit Academy 44 will graduate in a ceremony at 7:00 p.m. at the Raleigh Convention Center, in Exhibit Hall C.

The new firefighters have completed a 32-week fire academy that included over 1000 hours of classroom, practical, and physical fitness training. Each has been certified by the State of North Carolina as a Firefighter Level II, Emergency Medical Technician, and Hazardous Materials Responder I. Most of their instruction was conducted at the Keeter Training Center in downtown Raleigh.


Mike Legeros photo

Names and Faces

Back row, left to right:

  • DeSilver J. Nickerson – Apex
  • Ryan D. McLaurin – Fayetteville
  • William D. Catlett – Raleigh
  • Cullen V. Brown – Selma
  • Devin C. Woodall – Raleigh
  • Samuel B. Bailey – Clayton
  • Austin D. Wilder – Raleigh

Middle row, left to right:

  • Benjamin J. Cross – Olympia, WA
  • Janet L. Miguel – Hillsborough
  • Hunter S. Toms – Raleigh
  • Darryl W. Johnson – Angier
  • Jermey R. Lee – Richmond
  • Joseph A. Hunter – Raleigh

Front row, left to right:

  • Cole T. Stricker – Clayton
  • London S. Spain – Boston, MA
  • Michael H. Bennett – Princeton
  • Salim Bounemia – Chicago, IL
  • Timothy A. Bolos – Denver, CO
  • Dakota M. Rager – Cary

Family Connections

  • Johnson – Son of [Division] Chief Rob Johnson (ret.)
  • Stricker – Son of Lt. Mike Stricker
  • Toms – Son of Division Chief Ian Toms
  • Woodall – Son of Asst. Chief L. Bryant Woodall (ret.)

Raleigh Fire Department Explorer Post

  • Toms – Former member

Other Fire Department Connections

  • Bennett – Princeton FD
  • Brown – Antioch FD
  • McLaurin – Swift Creek FD
  • Miguel – New Hope FD (Orange County)
  • Spain – Sherborn (MA) FD

Historical Perspective

See all academy class photos, from 1978 to present.

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