SHARE 59 COMMENTMORE

It's not exactly your typical graduation ceremony. Rural Metro Fire Department's class of 2013 took the firefighters' oath Tuesday evening.

The 17 graduates received firefighter one certification, which licenses them to be full-time firefighters in more than 40 states, but the assistant fire chief says it's about much more than that.

"The friendships and the bonds that they formed during the academy, they will carry those out throughout their career. In fact some of my closest friends are people that I graduated the academy with a few decades ago," said Rick Ferrell, Rural Metro assistant fire chief.

The graduates had to complete 240 hours of training over a four-month span to earn their certification.