22 Graduate From Fire Academy

The Bridgeport Fire Department added on Friday 22 firefighters from the Connecticut State Fire Academy at a ceremony at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. The commencement address was delivered  by Mohammed Khan, the first Pakistani-American firefighter in Bridgeport history. The graduates will be formally sworn in as firefighters at a ceremony at City Council Chambers on December 16.

More from city Communications Director Av Harris:

The 22 new Bridgeport firefighters represent the diversity of the community–including the very first Pakistani-American firefighter from Bridgeport Mohammed Khan. Most of those in the class are Bridgeport residents, and some are descendants or related to other city firefighters and police officers. This new class also includes some 2nd chance individuals who had previous convictions on their records but were evaluated by a panel under the supervision of Bridgeport Fire Chief Richard Thode and the City Civil Service Commission and deemed suitable to become firefighters. More than $2.7 Million in funding for this new class of Bridgeport firefighters was secured by a federal SAFER grant awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. With this new group of firefighters, the Bridgeport Fire Department now stands at full capacity of 288 firefighters. A total of 59 new Connecticut firefighters graduated from the State Fire Academy Friday, with the largest group being from Bridgeport. The graduation comes after 14 weeks of training at the academy which began on August 29, 2016.

“This is a very proud day for Bridgeport,” said Bridgeport Fire Chief Richard Thode. “Each of these young firefighters is eager to serve their community and is embarking on a career in which they will be called upon at a moment’s notice to put their lives on the line for the residents of Bridgeport. I am proud that we have such a diverse group and a new class comprising so many residents of the Park City. These new firefighters will be dedicated to their community and to each other. I am very grateful to Mayor Ganim and his staff as well as our federal representatives in Washington DC for helping us secure the funding that proved critical to enabling us to add this new class of firefighters and keep Bridgeport residents more safe. I look forward to seeing these new probational firefighters out on the job in our neighborhoods!”

New Bridgeport Firefighter Mohammed Khan, the first Pakistani-American firefighter in Bridgeport history, was the commencement speaker at Friday’s graduation. He told his fellow graduates, “Our families and friends should know that today’s graduation marks the end of nothing. It is only the beginning of hopefully long and fruitful careers full of some bad days, but mostly good ones. It is our responsibility to do our best to keep the honor and respect for this job where it belongs, with our heads held high. We have a responsibility to the people we serve, to the cities we represent, and the badge we have the privilege to wear.”

The complete list of Bridgeport graduates from the Connecticut State Fire Academy today includes:

Agim Bungu, Daniel L. Paz, Angel L. Cintron Adalberto Planas Jr., Terrence J. Cramer Jorge A. Quintanilla, Albert Figueroa Jr., Carlos A. Reyes, Justin M. Fontan Jamie Rodriguez Jr., Darryl M. Gardner, Angel L. Rosado II, Kelley Geffert Jorge A. Ruiz Jr., Mohammad K. Khan, Christopher D. Sanchez, Robert Lopez, Jr. Eric Spooner, Jose Munoz, Herman A. Webb Jr., John F. Nuzzi, Jr. Daniel Wresilo.



  1. Here we go again with the spin machine about diversity. Where are the white females? The City under the direction of the Personnel Director David Dunn, for the third straight entry level firefighter exam has hired ZERO females, that’s right, ZERO. Bridgeport received more than $2.7 Million in funding for this new class of Bridgeport firefighters that was secured by a federal SAFER grant awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Federal money is being used by the City to discriminate against women becoming firefighters and the question still remains, why? First it was Mayor Bill Finch who started this practice and now Mayor Joe Ganim is following in the same direction. Mayor Ganim, why are there no females being hired to be firefighters? So this is what the voters voted for, for you to discriminate against women? The answer is yes because Mayor Ganim you have not said anything about this deplorable lack of leadership. The only solution is for a federal lawsuit against the Bridgeport Fire Department, Civil Service, the Bridgeport Fire Commission and Mayor Ganim.

    1. Ron, cut the bullshit. There was a test and the ones who graded the highest were chosen. Do you know how many females took the test? Do you know how many passed the test?
      Ron, are you saying we should put on females who can’t pass the tests?

      1. Andy, it’s the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), not one person on the Fire department outside of the last two groups of new recruits has taken and passed that exam, more than 80℅ of the current firefighters have never taken the CPAT exam.

  2. Andy, you’re talking about something you know absolutely nothing about. CPAT is the reason no women have passed the exam to be firefighters. The fact is No city in the country has been successful in hiring women using CPAT as a criterion, None. The city changed to CPAT because women didn’t make good firefighters or did Dunn change to eliminate women from the process?

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with women firefighters as a private and as as company officer and I can tell you unequivocally every one without exception were great firefighters, ones who I never worried about putting my life in their hands and not one of those women has ever taken or passed CPAT. Joe Ganim needs to be ashamed of himself for allowing this sexist practice to continue because for 35 years women have proven their worth in the fire service, in Bridgeport and across the country. David Dunn needs to be ashamed of himself, but shame isn’t in his punk ass.

    1. Don, I must say I find it really strange that here we have two black retired firefighters who are the only ones saying there is something wrong when the largest city in the state can’t hire women to be firefighters and nobody else seems to care or have any concerns and definitely not asking any questions as to why women are not being hired. Are women not smart enough to be firefighters? Well, if that’s the case then let’s say it.

      1. Ron, I won’t comment because I know nothing about the topic. I’m glad some experts on this topic are posting and hopefully this will inform others and a change can be made.

        1. Being a firefighter is truly a great profession for those who want to serve their community and their city or town. This new class of firefighters, I would tell them to put God first, then your family and then your firefighter family. There are women of all ages who would love to be Bridgeport firefighters, females just out of high school or out of the military and those who want a career change. I’ve never had any problems working with female firefighters and they bring a different prospective that is of great value. Donald Day and myself have nothing to gain in pushing for women to become firefighters here in Bridgeport, it’s just the right and moral thing to do and other people should be upset with this besides two guys who are retired.


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