Fire recruit candidates Alex McCarthy, Evan Giard and Dan Mullin

Fire recruit candidates Alex McCarthy, Evan Giard and Dan Mullin fold the freedom flag.

The South Burlington Fire Department’s three new recruits retired the station’s freedom flag, flown during the month of September in honor of 9/11, per department tradition.

Fire recruit candidates Alex McCarthy, Evan Giard and Dan Mullin hoisted the flag at Station 1 at the beginning of September and again joined together to retire the flag Oct. 1. Nationally, flags were flown at half-staff last Saturday, Oct. 3 in honor of National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Day. According to a statement from the department, 59 career firefighters have died from COVID-19 in the nation since the pandemic began a year and a half ago.

South Burlington was the first department in the state to receive a freedom flag two years ago when they began the tradition.

The three new recruits are in training and expected to graduate around Nov. 8 when they’ll officially join the South Burlington Fire Department, bringing the staff count up to the 29 budgeted positions.

A single vacancy remains unfunded.

Last week we reported that 59 career firefighters have died from COVID-19 in Vermont since the pandemic began a year and a half ago. It should have read nationally. This article has been updated to reflect this.

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