Cenla welcomes 12 new heroes at Alexandria Fire Academy graduation

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Central Louisiana now has 12 new heroes.

Photo Source: KALB

On Thursday evening, the Alexandria Fire Academy officially wrapped up with its commencement ceremony.

It started with a march down Third Street, starting at City Hall and ending at the Coughlin-Saunders where a crowd of loved ones was waiting to cheer on the graduates.

The cadets spent the last 14 weeks training both physically and academically with the goal of becoming certified firefighters. That included putting everything they've learned to the test with a mock 24-hour shift, as well as multiple real-life scenarios like a structure fire or search and rescue.

Chief Larry King said this class is one of the largest he's seen since the 1980s.

"That's very important, and we have a very vast difference of personalities,” expressed Chief King. “We have a baseball player in this class, we have a gentleman with a construction management degree, and we have a person who just worked at the Academy. So we're very varied and different. But they all come together as a team to serve the community."

There were some cool historic features of the night as well. The cadets were led by a 1950s model firetruck, and the lobby of the Coughlin-Saunders was filled with old AFD pictures and memorabilia.

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