MILWAUKEE -- It took five years before they could even get into the training academy. But now 27 new Milwaukee firefighters will graduate Thursday night and start working Monday.
The group spent 14 weeks going through a mental and physical grind. It gets them ready to put their lives on the line for us.
They focus on physical fitness testing as well as firefighting certifications.
The department also brought in exercise scientists from UW-Milwaukee to help train the recruits.
After a historic low in fire deaths, Battalion Chief Erich Roden says the bar has been raised.
These 27 will get going immediately and fill jobs across the city.
The department also wants these recruits to know there are high standards for Milwaukee firefighters.
They don't want anything like the vandalism that took place at Engine 32 to happen again.
"They are going to abide by those ethics and ethos of the Milwaukee Fire Department," Roden said. "We do have situations that unfortunately cause us some concern but we definitely instill a sense of mission, pride and duty to do the right thing, always."
Roden said there's still more than 1,000 people on the waiting list for a job with the department.
The ceremony is open to the public at the Milwaukee Fire Department Training Academy on North Teutonia. It starts at 7.