In a ceremony not seen in Minneapolis since 2006, the Minneapolis Fire Department swore in nine new firefighters Friday.
The cadets took their oath after completing a four-month training program, Minnesota Public Radio reports. But that period was nothing compared to the actual time it took for the new class, which included men--all men--who had filled out an application and took a test in 2006, the Star Tribune reports.
They waited as a the recession and tight city budgets led to a five-year hiring freeze. Even with the new recruits, Minneapolis still has about 70 fewer firefighters than it did in 2001, according to MPR.
“It’s an exciting time for me,” Chief John Fruetel tells MPR. “We’ve waited a long time."