Two Columbus firefighters honored in ceremony

Published 1:10 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2023

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COLUMBUS—Two local part-time firefighters with the Columbus Fire Department were recently recognized during a ceremony in Cleveland County.

On August 4, probationary firefighters C.J. Craine and Joe Nichols graduated with the Cleveland County Fire Academy Class 29. The two completed nine weeks of physical training as well as the required 500 hours of class and live fire scenarios, and are now officially NC-certified firefighters.

Every morning before class began, Craine and Nichols participated in numerous exercises, such as running the five-story training tower, push-ups, planks and wall sits.

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Additionally, both men received achievement awards during the ceremony. Craine received the Fortitude Award, while Nichols was honored with the Most Improved Physical Training Award.

“These two young men should be an inspiration to everyone,” said Captain Dylan Priester of the Columbus Fire Department on Wednesday. “They left their jobs and put their mind and body through nine weeks of constant stress to achieve their goals.”

According to Priester, there have been six firefighters that have graduated from the same academy that are currently employed with the Columbus Fire Department.