Twenty new recruits have been sworn in to the Rockford Fire Department.
A ceremony welcoming the class was held Friday morning. The recruits will go through 14 weeks of training before they become full-time firefighters, all of which will be carried out in Rockford.
"It's something I've been wanting to do for a very long time," new recruit Travis Hawkins said. "I know we have a long road ahead of us and it's going to be a lot of hard work, but it definitely means the world to me and my family."
Fire Chief Derek Bergsten said it was the largest recruit class the department has seen in the last 10 or 15 years.