FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – It’s been 16 years since a class of cadets from Fresno City College Fire Academy has traveled to New York for 9/11.
This year, on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, Director Peter Cacossa brought 27 cadets to the city, saying as each class gets younger, it’s important they understand the history.
“We have a handful of cadets that are in the class that are still in their teenage years still and were not even born until after 2001. So, it’s even more important for them to know how important it is to us, as a whole fire service, and be able to take that story and take that message and pass it on to generations,” he said.
On Saturday, the class of cadets took part in a ceremony with the New York Fire Department where each name of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives was read aloud.
“It was very very special,” Cacossa said.
Cacossa says the cadets have been in the academy for roughly eight weeks and organized multiple fundraisers to allow them to go to New York.
Cole Emerzian, one of those cadets, says it was all worth it, as the trip has solidified his passion to become a first-responder.
“It reinforces every single reason why I want to be a firefighter. It makes me want to be there for everybody’s worst day,” he said.
The cadets will return to Fresno on Monday. In about four months, their academy will come to an end, and they’ll be ready to join the force. Cacossa says his goal is to bring a class back to New York on the 30th anniversary of 9/11.