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Fall Creek and Elk Park volunteer fireman Brandon Baird received Mayland Fire Academy's Rookie of the Year Award from instructor Bradley Boone at last week's ceremony. Photo by Jamie Shell

Originally published: 2012-06-19 16:03:05
Last modified: 2012-06-19 16:06:06

Cadet to fireman: Avery trio completes Mayland Fire Academy

Jamie Shell / (

Hard work pays off.
For three Avery County natives, this adage rings true as cadets Brandon Baird, Tyler Jones and Levi Pollygus graduated as part of an 11-member Battalion Four class from Mayland Fire Academy in a ceremony held Friday, June 15, at Yancey County Public Library in Burnsville.
Bradley Boone, fire instructor at Mayland Community College and assistant fire Chief with Pensacola Fire Department in Yancey County, presided over the graduation exercises. Boone lauded the efforts of the group and its ability to work as a team in spite of any obstacles or fears that lay out before them.
Each graduate was individually recognized and presented with a patch and certification of the completion of Mayland Fire Academy.
Near the conclusion of the ceremony awards were given, including trophies for academic achievement, physical training and the Rookie of the Year award for best all-around cadet during the six-month, three-nights-a-week course.
Jones, an Elk Park resident, received the physical training award for most fit of the cadets, while Baird, a resident of Old Beech Mountain community, was the recipient of the Rookie of the Year award.
As recipient of the award, Baird spoke briefly about the honor of receiving a trophy that was voted on by his fellow classmates and cadets.
"I want to thank Instructor Boone and Instructor (Josh) Hoyle and Instructor (Brian) Ledford. I also want to thank my fire departments where I serve at Elk Park and Fall Creek. Thank you to my classmates for receiving this award," Baird said. "I also want to thank my mom and my girlfriend."
Jones serves locally with Elk Park Fire Department, while Pollygus serves with Newland Fire Department.

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