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Kannapolis Fire Department gets award from N.C. Athletic Trainers’ Association

KANNAPOLIS – The North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association hosted its annual clinical symposium and awards ceremony March 8-10. The Kannapolis Fire Department was recognized as an Athletic Training Allied Partner and received the association’s 2019 Presidential Award.

The Presidential Award is presented to individuals or organizations that go above and beyond in support of the athletic training profession.

The Kannapolis Fire Department was nominated by Jim Bazluki, an Atrium Health athletic trainer who works at Northwest Cabarrus High School. He also works with Kannapolis firefighters to ensure they are prepared for athletic injuries that might occur at school functions.

In his nomination, Bazluki said the department uses a stand-by system for Friday night football games and provides training for athletic trainers and fire personnel. Because of this partnership, the Kannapolis Fire Department offered an EMT certification course for local athletic trainers, which trained 14 new EMTs.

“During every step of this process, from onsite training for special sports medicine techniques to fire personnel teaching the athletic trainers to become EMTs, Kannapolis Fire has been the utmost professional organization that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” Bazluki said.

At the awards ceremony, Kirk Beard, Kannapolis technical services division chief, accepted the award on behalf of the department from Bazluki.

On March 12, the Kannapolis Fire Department welcomed seven new firefighters to its ranks. The recruits completed four months of fire, rescue and medical training before joining the department.

A badge-pinning ceremony was held at Kannapolis City Hall. Family members pinned the firefighters’ badges on for the first time, signifying the transition from “recruit” to “firefighter.”

At the close of the ceremony, they took the firefighter’s oath led by City Clerk Bridgette Bell. Class President Ronald Sloop challenged the group to continue training and never stop learning.

The new firefighters have been assigned to shift positions at the city’s fire stations and began work immediately.

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