|Updated: 3/04 9:11 am
||Published: 3/01 6:50 pm
A new class of Tulsa firefighters graduated on Friday, bringing the Tulsa Fire Department nearly to full strength.
FOX23 News has been following the intensive training for five months along with one firefighter who traveled thousands of miles to join TFD.
In Downtown Tulsa, 29 firefighter cadets walked with pride as they received their badge. The class brings the Department to 675 firefighters, two below full strength.
“It’s a calling,” said Nelson Ojeda.
A native from Chile, Nelson moved to Tulsa in 2007, before this class he’d been turned down four times by TFD.
"I'm glad graduation day is here,” said Nelson.
It’s not easy to join the ranks of Tulsa Fire.
“It's a high standard you are expected to perform," said Nelson.
He’s part of the third class since 2008, the recession forced the mayor to cut the academy. However, by the next class, TFD hopes to be above the full strength.
"I love Tulsa,” said Nelson.
A spokesperson for TFD says the next class is still being worked out in the budget.