HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Fire Department is a little bigger with 29 new recruits graduating on Friday, Aug. 5. A ceremony at the Hawaii Okinawa Center honored the 112th Fire Fighter Recruit Class.

Among the graduating class is 46-year-old Anthony Rossi, who was called “Uncle Tony” by his classmates.

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“It only pushed me harder. I had to make sure I had to look behind to see if they were catching up,” Rossi said.

He said he wasn’t going to let his age hold him back.

“I’ve always wanted to work with the fire department, and it was just another hurdle to my goal,” Rossi said.

HFD said the new firefighters went through 1,440 hours of rigorous instruction over 38 weeks.

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They are all now certified to the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress Fire Fighter I and II, Hazardous Materials Awareness, and Operations levels, Basic Driving Skills and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.