A group of heroes who helped fight the Waldo Canyon Fire finally got their badges after going through some of the toughest conditions they'll likely ever face.
The Waldo Canyon Fire started when the class of twenty-two had one week left of training. Instead of finishing it, they joined the firefight. Many were on the front lines.
On Tuesday, their family, friends and fellow firefighters packed the Radiant Church for a formal swearing in to the Colorado Springs Fire Department.
"(The fire) definitely cemented the fact that this is where I want to be, and this is what I want to do," said new firefighter Clint Mestas.
Mestas put out his first fire in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, the night almost 350 homes were destroyed. Mestas said all the other fire crews were busy when he spotted a roof on fire.
"So we went down to that yard, found a garden hose and put it out ourselves," said Mestas.
He was with CSFD photographer Steve Schopper who captured what happened on camera and featured it at the end of the video he created of the Mountain Shadows firefight.
The new firefighters said the reception and welcome they received from the community after the fire has been incredible.
"Day in and day out there are still people that are delivering pies and cakes and cards and banners, and it's unbelievable," said Richie Rodriguez. "That's the thing that's really hit me the most, actually, is the support everyone has given us. It's been pretty awesome."
Fire department leaders said they couldn't be prouder of their newest members.
"It was very fortunate that they were at the end of their training instead of the beginning (when the fire started)," said Deputy Fire Chief Steve Dubay. "They have truly been indoctrinated by trial by fire."