20 new firefighters become first class of ‘Homegrown Heroes’ in Dayton

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — On Friday, the Dayton Fire Department welcomed 20 new firefighters who were the first to be recognized as “Homegrown Heroes.”

“Homegrown Heroes” is the City of Dayton’s new recruiting program. It encourages current city employees to pursue a career in public safety.

“Through this process, we were able to graduate one of the most diverse classes in Dayton Fire Department history,” said Assistant Fire Chief Mike Rice.

The program increases the city’s efforts to recruit diverse public safety employees.

“Diversity, inclusivity in the City of Dayton is everything. The fire department and all safety forces pretty much across the country have struggled to diversify. The city of Dayton certainly since 1960 has been committed to it,” said Chief Jeff Lykins.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley recognized the graduates who are also entering the field as the Miami Valley fights against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials said the group more accurately reflect the communities they serve.

“Our members, they grew up in these neighborhoods, they know these streets, they know the people the citizens and the community and no one is better and prepared to provide the emergency services as they are,” Chief Lykins said.

The graduates, Kyle Arrowood, Michael Blevins, Christopher Bogan, Jacob Brown, Scott Brown, Daniel Buck, Richard Caudill, Tyler Chamberlain, Scott Dahlin, Brian Foland, Ronald Ladd, III, Michael McKenzie, Eric Morgan, Quang Nguyenlu, Ervin Oliver, Joseph Parker, Thomas Ritchie, III, Joshua Scott, Zaccaria Sottoway, and Mark Underwood are set to start at their fire stations on Monday.

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