Newly trained firefighters graduate from basic firefighting school

According to Mid-Hudson News, NEW HAMBURG – Thirty-four new volunteer firefighters recently completed 129 hours of classroom and hands-on training to become members of local volunteer fire departments. The graduates of the Basic Exterior Firefighting Operations class represented 16 departments in Dutchess County and two departments in neighboring Putnam County.

The classes were conducted by New York State Fire Instructor Dan Shultz, who is no stranger to emergency services. He currently serves as a captain in the JH Ketcham Fire Department in Dover and he is one of the most notable voices on the emergency airwaves because he is a dispatcher with the City of Poughkeepsie 911.

Shultz was joined at the podium of the graduation ceremony by Dutchess County Commissioner of Emergency Response Dana Smith, Tivoli Fire Chief Marc Hildenbrand, and New Hamburg Fire Chief Jeff Renihan, whose department hosted the ceremony attended by friends and family of the graduates. Representatives of the Dutchess County Volunteer Firemens Association also greeted the graduates and commended them on their dedication.

Shultz, Hildenbrand, and Renihan all stressed the need for the new firefighters to continue training. “Continue learning. It doesn’t stop with this class.” Shultz said. “There is always something new that you can learn to save your life or the life of another.”

Hildenbrand echoed Shultz while also encouraging the graduates, both men and women, to avoid the internal politics that are problematic in the volunteer fire service. “Don’t get tangled up in things that don’t concern you. Focus on being a great firefighter.”

Commissioner Smith, speaking on behalf of Dutchess County Executive William O’Neil, pointed out that the Dutchess County Emergency Response agency is consistently holding classes designed to teach new skills and enhance those already learned. “We are a resource for you and you are always welcome to reach out to us.”

After all of the graduation certificates were distributed, the graduates gave a surprise presentation of a Halligan tool signed by all of the students in the classes. The Halligan is known throughout the fire service as being one of the firefighter’s most important tools due to its multitude of uses.

Dutchess County graduates:

City of Beacon

  • Brandon Travis


  • Joseph McEntee

Hyde Park

  • Shane Acevedo
  • Michael Russell


  • John Sample


  • Trevor Gruntler

New Hackensack

  • Anthony Racanello

New Hamburg

  • Adam Renihan
  • Aidan Rogers
  • Michael Szabo
  • Robert Szabo
  • Alex Yagodin

Pine Plains

  • David Prentice
  • Evan McCarthy

Pleasant Valley

  • Chase Russell
  • Jason Munzenberger
  • Troy Paul


  • Richard Ross


  • Andrew Butler
  • Sandra Ksar

Union Vale

  • Michael Scott


  • Miranda Koch
  • Elizabeth Finkle


  • Ashley McKinney
  • Lisa Jones
  • Brendon Tator
  • Citrus Triplett

Wappingers Falls

  • Nicholas Rizzo
  • Aidan Santoro

West Clinton

  • Oliver Rush

Putnam County

Lake Carmel

  • Donald Gannon


  • Daniel McLaughlin
  • Joseph Solimano
  • Steven Purdue

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