BLACKWOOD, N.J. (FOX 29) - Three teens were sworn in as Blackwood Fire Department's first-ever youth fire cadets Wednesday night.
"Look crisp and look professional. Do yourselves proud. This is your night," said Fire Captain Keith Kemery.
Bagged uniforms tagged with the names of the Blackwood Fire Department's first-ever youth fire cadets sit on the floor of the fire station. These teens are in training now but mostly learning a lot of formality.
"Plant your left foot right on the crack on the yellow stripe," said Captain Kemery.
They're also learning discipline.
"Like this? Don't put your hand up until he says raise your right hand and repeat after me," instructed Captain Kemery.
On Wednesday, they took a major step toward their goal of making a career saving lives. The fire department and fire commissioners in Gloucester County Fire District four swore in the cadets.
"I do solemnly swear. I do solemnly swear," they said.
Shane Hyndman's parents were there to witness the moment. His father started as a firefighter for Chews Landing and is now a police officer.
"It feels good for people to risk their lives out there for other people," said Shane.
He plans to follow the same path but ultimately end with the Coast Guard.
"(He watches you apparently) Yes. Exactly. Now I'm kind of stuck on words because just overwhelmed with how proud I am," said Shane's father Scott Hyndman.
15-year-old Tyler Shrader plans to go from cadet to junior firefighter when he's 16 and then on to the Coast Guard.
"The bloodline and my family has always helped people. That's what I want to do. Just in a different way," said Tyler. His father is William Shrader. He's a lieutenant with the Blackwood Fire Department.
"I got into it because my father was a member here so that was my introduction. My grandfather was a firefighter so it's actually four generations for us," said Lieutenant Shrader.
As excited as they are to turn on the siren, hop on a truck and head out, not so fast. First things first. The stacked chairs at the end of the ceremony but what lies ahead makes every bit of it worth it.
"Fighting fires I think it's going to be a lot of fun learning about the equipment and riding on the trucks," said Youth Fire Cadet Michael Crowley.