HAGERSTOWN -- Fourteen firefighters became part of the Hagerstown Fire Department on Friday during a graduation ceremony at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center.
The group is the largest class that the department has hired at one time, said Mike Weller, the City of Hagerstown's fire prevention officer.
With the new hires, the city fire department now has 85 personnel, Weller said.
"They have some bumps and bruises, but they got here with all their limbs," Training Capt. Mark Cleck said.
The class of recruits finished an eight-week training class only hours before Friday night's ceremony. They were picked from more than 200 applicants.
All of the new hires had worked in volunteer fire departments in Maryland or Pennsylvania.
"It's good to be done, but now the real work begins," said Timothy Cooper, one of the graduates.
The hiring of the new firefighters completes an expansion of the fire department that the Hagerstown City Council agreed in 2006 to fund.