|Updated: 12/07/2012 7:59 am
||Published: 12/07/2012 7:49 am
After 20 weeks of undergoing intense training and life-saving scenarios, 13 recruits are now a part of the Little Rock Fire Department. With this graduation, the department now has 373 firefighters on the force.
Dan Oberstee with the Little Rock Fire Department says, "Other stations around the city will be getting additional firefighters to make up for the prior retired in the last few months."
And while tonight brings a 5 month journey to an end, they'll still be with each other a lot. Starting Monday, some of the firefighters will run this brand new station in west Little Rock, a station built to serve the neighbors who've migrated in droves to this once-undeveloped part of the city.
"Living in a neighborhood if something were to catch fire it's nice they're close enough it won't burn all our homes," says Susan Furr.
Furr says the opening makes her feel safer, knowing response times will be cut as a result. But with her elderly parents living with her, the presence of the station and firefighters helps her to settle even more.
“It’s really close so if they fall, the firefighters can help them," she says.
Even the neighborhood kids see the value.
"It will save my X-box, and it would save my family and my food,” says Michael Feingold.