ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- The Elmira Fire Department hosted a swearing-in ceremony for three of its newest firefighters on Friday afternoon. Anthony Putney, Zackary Taft, and Gavin Elston were hired in June and recently completed 21 weeks of EMT and basic fire training at the New York State Fire Academy in Montour Falls.

"I'm just excited to start and...get on the job and learn as much as I can to be the best firefighter I can be," said Taft.

The three firemen graduated from the New York State Fire Academy Recruit Firefighter Training Program. Everyone has a reason they choose to become a firefighter and Taft said his brother, who's also a firefighter inspired him to become one.

"I always wanted to help people. My brother got hired about a year and a half ago with the fire department and he inspired me to take the test. I love the job [and] I'm very grateful," said Taft.

Elmira Fire Chief Andrew Mallow said having Elston, Taft, and Putney join the team will have the department at full strength. Chief Mallow added, "With new firefighters, it always brings youth to the department and new training techniques they learn in the academy."