One of the largest fire academy classes in the Chattanooga Fire Department's history got underway Friday.

Thirty-six recruits will go through a 27-week training program of rigorous mental and physical exercises, including instruction on fire suppression, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials and other related disciplines. 

The firefighters must also go through medical training and become certified as an EMT to be a Chattanooga firefighter. 

Successful trainees will graduate on April 13, 2017. 
This class includes the 14 firefighters the department was able to hire with the $1.8 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, making this the largest fire academy anyone in the department can remember, according to CFD spokesman Bruce Garner.

Chattanooga Fire Chief Chris Adams is on the far right and Training Chief Phil Hyman is on the far left.