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Some Heroes Wear Gowns! High School Students Abandon Graduation To Fight Fire.

Graduation Day is a memorable experience for all who participate. Families and friends gather to celebrate the accomplishment, and students are excited about what the future holds. But when duty calls – it doesn’t matter what occasion it is. You answer the call.

Six Long Island High School students recently graduated, but they’ll remember more than getting their diploma. As they were taking photos after the ceremony, they responded to a garage fire, the Port Jefferson Fire Department wrote on Facebook

The students’ principal, Eric Haruthunian, said the volunteer firefighters were Ryan Parmegiani, Kasumi Layne-Stasik, Hunter Volpi, Andrew Patterson, Shane Hartig and Peter Rizzo. The students ages vary between 17 and 18 years old.

When they heard the alarm, they dropped everything to respond.

“We were still in our gowns, and we still had our diplomas with us and we stripped off our gowns,” 17-year-old Rizzo told Good Morning America. “I didn’t even realize I still had my tie on.”

Often during an emergency, one never knows what they are heading into. In this case, the students ended up responding to a structure fire at the home of one of their fellow graduates.

Port Jefferson Fire Chief Christian Neubert said the classmate was returning home from the graduation ceremony. Christian added that two of the students were in the first engine responding to the call, and the remaining four were on a ladder truck.

There were no injuries, and the fire was extinguished quickly. 

Several of the six students who responded to the fire have been training for this type of scenario for years, since they became junior volunteer firefighters as young teens.

All six had trained rigorously, “but you don’t know how somebody is going to perform until they’re actually out there doing it,” Christian said.

“This year PJFD had 8 total members graduate from Port Jefferson High School,” the fire department shared on  Facebook . “They have each shown tremendous dedication to the Department and community. We are very proud of them and wish them well as they move on to college in the fall.”

All are grateful for the students’ actions and wish them well.

The students admitted the night before that they joked about what would happen if a fire occurred on the same day of their graduation. The punchline: it actually happened. And they handled it very well.

Their graduation day might not have ended in the most traditional way, but it will still be one to remember according to 18-year-old Ryan Parmegiani.

“I got more pictures of me at the fire than I did at graduation,” Ryan said. “But overall I definitely remember it (as) a cool memory and a cool story to be able to tell people.”

Share this story with a friend to celebrate the graduation and commitment of these students.

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