A total of 16 new firefighters officially joined The Woodlands Fire Department after completing four weeks of training, beginning their first day as full-time firefighters on Feb. 24, according to a township news release.

The graduates came from a pool of 300 applicants to The Woodlands Fire Department Firefighter Academy, the largest class size in the organization’s history, according to a news release from the township.

“These outstanding men and women have gone through the intensive training academy to learn 'The Woodlands Way’ of being a firefighter in The Woodlands Township. It’s a great day in The Woodlands, and we welcome our new firefighters,” said Ann Snyder, chair of The Woodlands Township board of directors, in a news release.

According to Fire Chief Palmer Buck, the new firefighters will assist the department in spreading its coverage across The Woodlands area.

“The 10th Company allows us to further enhance the coverage on the western edges of The Woodlands where most of the growth of The Woodlands has recently occurred,” Buck said in the news release. “This will significantly help our response time and coverage for residents and businesses of The Woodlands.”