Toledo Fire & Rescue Department Chief Luis Santiago welcomes guests during a ceremony to welcome its 51 new recruits, standing behind Chief Santiago, at One Government Center.
The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
To a standing ovation in Toledo's crowded city council chambers, 51 men and women were sworn in today as the newest members of the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department.
The ceremony, which started at about 9 a.m., was swift as promised by fire Chief Luis Santiago.
He was concerned, he joked, that the fire marshal might come shut down the celebration for being over crowded.
PHOTO GALLERY: 51 recruits join Toledo Fire and Rescue Department
The chief led the recruits through an oath, officially kicking off the months of training that will follow.
The recruits -- five of the class are women -- will go through 13 weeks of fire training and then an additional nine weeks of emergency medical technician training.
Mayor Mike Bell, who was himself a firefighter, fire chief, and state fire marshal, told families of the recruits that the soon-to-be firefighters would be in good hands and "will be taught by some of the best."
The mayor also warned that the recruits, in the next few weeks, would be "very irritable" because of the rigorous training.