ELKHART — The Elkhart Fire Department added seven members to its staff Friday during the 2017 Rookie Class Graduation ceremony.

The rookie firefighters finished their 10-week training and were officially pinned during a ceremony at Central Fire Station Friday evening. City officials, family and department members turned out for the graduation.

"I'm very proud of what they've accomplished and I'm excited to watch them grow," said Fire Chief Chad Carey.

The rookies also received their shift assignments, all seven will report for their first shift this week.

Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese addressed the recruits, telling them that the city was counting on them and that they had his full support.

"The city is proud of you, but I'm one of the ones that is most proud," Neese said.

Chief of Training William Kornrumph, who led the recruiting class in their training for the first time, said that the rookies met his high expectations.

"They came in as individuals and grew into part of the EFD family," Kornrumph told the audience.

He also advised the rookies to keep working to get better and to continue training.

"I want you to maintain your positive attitude, your excitement for the job, never stop learning and always try to better yourself," Kornrumph said.

The recruits received their badges and watched a short video reviewing their training before enjoying refreshments with their family and new EFD colleagues.

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