Cadets Sign on as Fire and Rescue Recruits

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Provided by Prince William County Communications Office

A couple of Prince William County Fire and Rescue cadets traded in their yellow cadet T-shirts for blue button-up recruit shirts just before they signed up to join the department as the newest recruits.

This year’s cadet program, which ran throughout the school year, included students from 13 of the county’s 17 high schools. The program is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in firefighting or want to learn more about the department.

Tyler Orefice signed the contract to join the department in a recent ceremony at Unity Reed High School.

“I love the job,” Orefice said. “I love everything to do with the job. I just love the work.”

Tyler’s mother, Holly Orefice, said she and her husband, Frank Orefice, a Prince William Fire and Rescue System battalion chief, were proud that their son had decided to take on the work.

“We’re thrilled about it,” Holly Orefice said. “We’re just so excited that Tyler is going to begin his career with fire and rescue. This is his passion, and he wants to do it, and we couldn’t be prouder.”

Ryan Sinclair also signed up for the department after completing the program, which includes a state certification.

“It’s an awesome job,” Sinclair said. “I love everything about it. Everything about it is cool. It tests your limits.”

Ryan Sinclair’s father, Dave, believes the job is the right fit for his son.

“He doesn’t like a traditional classroom setting, but he loved this program,” Dave Sinclair said. “It mixes classroom with application. He loves the physical aspect of the job.”

The course curriculum covers the use of personal protective equipment, fire behavior, building constructions, how to use ladders, hose lines and fire streams and portable fire extinguishers. Cadets also learn about ropes and knots, tactical ventilation, basic first aid and CPR. Upon completing the course final exam and Firefighter I and hazardous materials training, cadets earn Virginia Department of Fire Protection certification. Additionally, cadets who finish the course also meet the Virginia Department of Fire Programs requirements.

Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Tom LaBelle noted that having cadets sign up to join the department shows promise for the program’s future and other upcoming cadets.

“We’re really excited that the cadet program is taking off, and we’re really excited to make these job offers,” LaBelle told the parents and staff who attended the signing ceremony. “These are just the first two… The big thing for me is to make sure that the community is represented in the department. There’s no better way to do that than to draw right from the community.”

Deputy County Executive Dan Alexander congratulated Orefice and Sinclair on reaching a milestone in their lives and thanked them for joining the department.

“This is important,” Alexander said. “This is the finest fire and rescue system. Thank you to the parents for supporting this process. To our honorees, you’ve been on a journey up until this point and there will be a number of additional milestones. Keep your eyes on the prize. You’ve made such a good decision early in life. This is a great career with tons of opportunities, and it’s only going to get better over time.”

Sarah Martin, Ph.D., Prince William County Schools director of career and technical education, also thanked the parents and the fire and rescue system for supporting the cadets.

“We are so very fortunate to have such a close, collaborative and working relationship with Prince William Fire and Rescue. I couldn’t be prouder. We’ve got two cadets who are committed and know their future path, and that is a huge step in any student’s life. The success of this program will launch you into your fire and rescue career. I’m so proud to be a part of your celebration today.”

Students who might be interested in joining the cadet program can visit this site.

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