WILLISTON, N.D. - When the second Williston fire house was opened last year, it gave the department the opportunity to train new recruits on site.
The 16 recruits of the class of 2017 fire training academy all have one thing in common: a desire to serve.
"I've always wanted to serve the community and I guess I wanted to do fun stuff. It seems like a fun job and give back to the community, help people out when they're in distress, kind of something I always wanted to do," said recruit Ian Stewart.
And, the new firehouse allows these recruits to get a comprehensive education.
"Taking items from the classroom, being able to go outside and perform those tasks in repetition over and over until you reach proficiency. That way we have quality trained people," said Greg Hughes, division chief.
For eight hours a day over the next 12 weeks, these recruits will learn everything of how to be a member of the Williston Fire Department from how to put gear on properly to how to provide basic EMT services. As you can expect, the process is very rigorous.
"It's physically rigorous and demanding, a lot more mentally demanding than I thought it'd be, we spend a lot of time in the classroom," said Stewart.
For those who can make it through, a job in Williston awaits.
"Every one of them will work for the city of Williston. With the opening of the new station 3 this year, some will be there, some will be here and some will be at station 1," said Hughes.
Being able to train in Williston and not have to leave town is a huge advantage for those in the program.
"I've got a family, I've got a wife and three kids. So, not having to go elsewhere and being given the opportunity to train in the community that you're going to work for is an awesome factor," said Stewart.
That will make it easier to adjust when these recruits are ready to put their lives on the line to protect the city of Williston.
The recruits are currently in week two of the 12-week training.