Three of the graduates at Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 16, were also volunteer firemen with the City of Geneva Fire Department, Nester Hose Co. #1. Andrew Dennis (Newton, Mass.) has been with the department for nearly four years; Jeff Gibson (Pine City, N.Y.) has been with the department for roughly three, and Adam Croglia (Amherst, N.Y.) joined last fall.
As they do every year, members of Nester Hose Co. brought one of their fire engines to Pulteney Street just as Commencement ended in order to thank and congratulate their Hobart volunteers.
“These students have been a great asset to us,” says Kevin Powers, assistant chief of the Nester Hose Co. “We sort of hate to see these people graduate because they’re very active. Any time we ask for anything, they’re there.”
Powers notes the department has around 12 current Hobart students as volunteer firefighters, an amount that represents the annual average. The student-volunteer firefighters are officially part of the department and work with the Nester Engine Co., the company responsible for taking the hose lines into the building for the interior attack of the fire. All have been received complete firefighter training, including in firefighting techniques, use of a self contained breathing apparatus, and building ventilation – how to get smoke and heat out. All have passed firefighter physicals.
Television news channel YNN in Rochester, N.Y. spoke with the three following Commencement. The report is online.