Saturday, May 26, 2001

Cincinnati graduates fire recruits

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        When Daniel Kuhn Jr., 61, pinned the shiny silver Cincinnati firefighter's badge on his son, Doug, 27, he was doing more than just officially inducting him into the profession, he was continuing a family tradition.

        The Kuhns are a rarity: three living generations of Cincinnati firefighters.

        The elder Mr. Kuhn retired as a Cincinnati assistant fire chief in 1995 after a 34-year career. And his father, Daniel Sr., 87, served on the Cincinnati department from 1943-75.

[photo] Police Chief Tom Streicher hugs his daughter Sarah after pinning on her badge at the graduation of Cincinnati Fire Division's 105th Fire Recruit Class.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        Doug joined the ranks Friday as a member of the Cincinnati Fire Division's 105th fire recruit class.

        “I'm proud of him, and he's going to make a great firefighter,” Daniel Sr. said. “He's got the right attitude. It's hard work under adverse conditions.”

        As a boy, Doug listened to his father's and grandfather's stories of the fire department. Something must have rubbed off.

        “I just think it's an outstanding way to make a living,” Doug said.

        After 20 weeks of grueling physical training and intense study, the Cincinnati Fire Division's latest recruits crossed the line from trainees to professional firefighters.

        In an hour-long ceremony at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, the 28 new Cincinnati firefighters were sent off on their careers.

        On Sunday, they begin work at various firehouses scattered about the city.

        Wearing crisp, blue uniforms, many of the recruits smiled as their silver badges - the family crest, as Cincinnati District Fire Chief Thomas Lakamp called it - were pinned over their hearts.

        At the ceremony, Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher got to be a just a dad. Smiling broadly and wiping away the occasional tear, the police chief hugged his daughter, Sarah, as he presented her with her firefighter badge.

        She was the lone female among the new firefighters, and will begin her career with Ladder Company 19 in Corryville.

        “A lot of emotion goes with this,” Chief Streicher said. “I really got choked up.”


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