LAKE COUNTY — It was a proud moment for 13 new firefighters who graduated from the Firefighter 1 course last Thursday. They have been through rigorous training for nearly four months at the Webber Township Fire Station.

A graduation ceremony was hosted at the Webber Township Hall.

Lake County Fire Association President Greg Bombich said the ceremony went well, with 13 firefighters earning certificates. Don Divis, Lake County emergency manager, was guest speaker.

“The training takes place through the Lake County Fire Training Council,” said Webber Township Fire Chief Aaron Summers. “These new firefighters will serve on fire departments throughout the county. Each fire department contributed $1,000 to go toward this training.”

Pleasant Plains Township firefighter Josh Miller was excited to graduate.

“I joined Webber Fire Department in August of 2015 and served on the Baldwin Fire Department starting in the spring of 2016 through the cadet program. Now I’m on Pleasant Plains Township Fire Department,” he said. “I started at age 14 and wasn’t able to become certified until age 16. It is a very rewarding feeling, I love serving my community.

“In many ways the area lacks opportunity, so I’m very thankful to have such an opportunity and have so many great people to work with and learn from. Being certified now at age 17 is a very accomplished feeling.”

Summers said there are trainings, such as swift water rescue, offered for firefighters throughout the year. A Firefighter 2 course is scheduled for later in the season, he added.