Lexington Fire’s ‘Company Officer Academy’ Class of 2020 Graduates

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (ABC 36) – It’s a unique program…and this year, it’s also a unique graduating class.

“This class is actually the class of 2020, so they started March of 2020, they got two weeks into their class and we had to unfortunately postpone the class because of Covid” said Fire Chief, Jason Wells.

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The Company Officer Academy with the Lexington Fire Department started in 2013, training the newest company officers with a four week program.

This graduating class is officially the longest class to take part in the academy.

“There’s always a silver lining. What was interesting about this group is that when they were able to meet again to complete their training, they had a little bit of a different perspective, so they were able to share some experiences they had in the year previously and they were able to learn more from that” said Chief Wells.

Lieutenant Chris Crowe says he waited a long time for his chance in the program.

“To be able to go through a program such as this is very rewarding. Honestly, I’ve been here for almost 11 years and having the opportunity for a program and seeing it develop in the 2013 repair up and being able to finally get a chance to do that is an honor.”

Though it wasn’t the experience he expected.

“Having that come to an abrupt stop and then not knowing something that I so badly wanted to attend, whether I’m ever going to have that class again” said Crowe.

Fortunately, he along with 13 other lieutenants were able to finish their training and graduate on Thursday.

“Oh it’s exciting. So now I’ve got a lot of knowledge and experience to take with me and you know I’m ready to make those decisions and tackle it and be ready to go” added Crowe.

Friends and family were not able to attend the ceremony in person, but watched virtually instead.

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Kaitlyn Shive joined the ABC36 News Team in January 2021 as a Multimedia Journalist. Kaitlyn comes to us from Joplin, Missouri, where she worked as an MMJ and Fill in Anchor for KOAM News/Fox 14 for over a year and a half. She is a Kentucky girl at heart, growing up in Louisville for a good portion of her life before her family moved to Mason, OH in 2012. She graduated from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University with a Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism. She also graduated with specializations in Marketing and Media, and with a Social Media Certificate. She is thrilled to be back in the Bluegrass State and to be closer to friends and family in the Cincinnati and Louisville areas. She can not wait to get to know the Lexington, Kentucky area and its people. If you have a story idea or tip, she is just a DM or email away. You can contact her on Facebook: kaitlynshiveTV, on Twitter: KaitlynShiveTV or by email: kshive@wtvq.com. Kaitlyn Shive ABC 36 Reporter 859-333-3390 kshive@wtvq.com