The Waxahachie Fire Department came together on Tuesday afternoon to honor one of its own. Waxahachie Firefighter John Seaberry moved from probationary firefighter to a full member of the department.

“A lot of people don’t realize what it takes to get through a full year on probation knowing that you could be fired or terminated for anything,” Seaberry said. “It means a lot that they brought me into their group.”

Before firefighters join the department their knowledge and skills are tested. Candidates are first given a written exam and then if they pass the test, are given a physical ability test. The physical ability test assesses basic firefighting skills such as raising and climbing a ladder or taking a hose pack up the stairs. Then they undergo a physiological exam, behavioral exam, a background check and interview before they are hired on.

Once hired the probationary firefighter is given tests on the department’s rules and regulations. Fellow firefighters educate the probationary firefighter on the equipment that is used at the department. Both peer and supervisory reviews are conducted throughout the year to help the probationary firefighter work on areas they need to improve on and to establish goals for themselves.

Seaberry said while it has been tough to get used to the schedule and the routine the experience working for Waxahachie is something that he would not trade, and it would not have been possible without the support of his family.

A reception was held at station two where Seaberry’s wife, Aimee, assisted him in changing the green probationary shield on his helmet to one that had his name written on it.

Seaberry said it meant the world that his wife and his two children, Caden and Addison, where there to support him.

Prior to becoming a firefighter Seaberry worked as a paramedic for Medstar in Fort Worth for four years. Becoming a firefighter allows him to utilize those skills he previously acquired along with the additional ones he has gained in service to local residents. Seaberry is a member of the department’s newly formed dive team. As a member of that team, he will work to see it grow.

Fire Chief Ricky Boyd shared that when he started out his career, the first year on the job was very challenging because there is so much to learn and absorb. Seaberry is a good firefighter, fits in well with the department and has proved himself here, Boyd said.

Follow Andrew on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndrewBrancaWDL or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AndrewBrancaWNI. Contact him at andrew.branca@waxahachietx.com or 469-517-1451.