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.