Albion firefighter now a member of FDNY as EMT
‘It’s an opportunity of a lifetime,’ says Andrew Cheverie, 20
NEW YORK CITY – Andrew Cheverie grew up in the Albion Fire Department. He spent countless hours at the fire hall with his father, Al Cheverie, the current president of the AFD.
Andrew, now 20, joined as an explorer at 14, a cadet at 16, and a full-fledged member at 18, trained as an interior firefighter.
The training and mentorship with the AFD convinced him he wanted to make firefighting his career. He is on his way to that goal after graduating on Tuesday as an EMT with the Fire Department of New York.
Cheverie will be part of a team responding to ambulance calls. He had orientation on Thursday and today is his first day taking calls.
He is based out of Washington Heights, Station 13 in northern Manhattan. It’s a busy area for FDNY. Cheverie said he will be responding to five to seven ambulance calls per eight-hour shift.
“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” he said by phone on Thursday night. “I’m looking forward to starting the next phase of my life.”
His parents, Al and Jan Cheverie, attended the graduation program on Tuesday, when 171 new EMTs were sworn in.
“I use the word ‘family’ to describe this Department because this is not simply a job,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro told the FDNY EMS Academy graduates. “This is a career. This is a commitment to something bigger than you, bigger than all of us. It is a brotherhood, a sisterhood, and yes, without question, a family. We respond together and everything we do is a team effort.”
Andrew applied for FDNY back in the fall of 2015. He didn’t hear anything from the department then, so he completed a year at the Harrisburg Area Community College, studying fire science. Then he enrolled at Monroe Community College to study fire protection technology.
He was halfway through his first semester at MCC when he got the call from FDNY that he had been accepted in the three-month EMS Academy. Cheverie jumped at the chance.
He said the training through Albion, with Haz-Mat and emergency vehicle operations, stood out and helped him earn a spot at FDNY.
“All of the training at the Albion Fire Department has helped me,” he said. “Without that I wouldn’t have decided to become a firefighter.”
He plans to earn his bachelor’s degree through the John Jay School of Criminal Justice in New York City. His ultimate goal is to be a professional firefighter with the FDNY, transitioning from the ambulance to firefighting.
Cheverie said he can adjust to living in the big city.
“I’m definitely a country boy at heart,” he said. “I loved living in Orleans County, but being 20 years old there is so much to do in the city.”