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Big Canoe volunteers who completed fire department state mandated training pictured with Chief Ricky Jordan are: L-R Laz Benitez, Ken Bechely, Joe Cano, Angela Markey, Steve Duesler and Bob Trophenbaum. Not pictured: Cal Hones, the youngest, 19 years old and a college student. PHOTO BY JIM FRANCIS

Big Canoe Fire Department graduates its largest volunteer class

BY LAURA LINK
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Big Canoe Fire Department held a graduation/promotion ceremony Thursday, Oct. 17 at Station 3 in the Village. This group of seven was the largest volunteer class to ever complete the support class training. Big Canoe volunteers who completed fire department state-mandated training pictured with Chief Ricky Jordan are: L-R Laz Benitez, Ken Bechely, Joe Cano, Angela Markey, Steve Duesler and Bob Trophenbaum and Cal Hones, the youngest, 19 years old and a college student. The 40-hour class ran for 10 weeks and was conducted at the station.

Graduates of the program were presented certificates of completion at a dinner held in the bay of the station. Firefighter and paramedic Mario Tilelli was promoted to lieutenant and presented his red fire helmet signifying his rank.

Tilelli, a veteran firefighter with 23 years’ experience, had been working for Big Canoe Public Safety part time until recently when he retired from the City of Atlanta Fire Dept. after 17 years and four years in Cherokee County. He is now full time in Big Canoe, a place he says he likes but lives in Canton because he must have grass.

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Firefighter and paramedic Mario Tilelli poses with Big Canoe Fire Chief Ricky Jordan and Lt. Chip Rice. PHOTO BY JIM FRANCIS

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