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Buffalo Fire Department welcomes new recruits

Posted at 11:20 PM, Dec 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 23:32:44-05

"My dad is a firefighter!" "Yay daddy!" Larry Cleveland has some proud children. They're both celebrating his achievement as one of the 49 Buffalo Fire Department recruits.

It's a night the new firefighters earned after more than three months of training, and for some, years of waiting.

"We definitely had to earn it," said Cleveland, a first-generation firefighter. "I definitely have to make a name for myself. Hopefully there'll be a list of Cleveland's right behind me."

Also worth it for third-generation firefighter, Joseph Nowadly.

"When I was a little kid, I remember riding on my dad's fire engine, so it's kind of a dream come true to finally be here," said Nowadly.

A life-long tradition and dream, coming true for Nowadly, who's father and grandfather both lived to fight fires.

"This is my grandfather's badge right here," said Nowadly, pointing to a badge with the number 414 on it. "Number 414 - it's a really low number because it's been in our family for about 60 years now."

That's a number his father, who was on the fire department for thirty years hopes will continue to make history.

"If he goes 30, we might make a century on the Buffalo Fire Department," said Nowadly's father, also named Joseph.

A proud father, like many other family members and friends in the crowd, taking photos, getting video, and cheering their graduates on.

"He did it, he did it," said Gin Jones, Cleveland's mother. "I'm so proud of him!"

With the addition of the new 49 firefighters, the total number of Buffalo Fire Department sworn staff is now 701.