Two former professional athletes among Chattanooga Fire academy graduates

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Two former professional athletes are suiting up to become Chattanooga firefighters.

Samuel Seamster is a former standout football player at Ooltewah High School

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After playing at Middle Tennessee State University, he went into the NFL. He played for several different teams before retiring.

Now he is a cadet and about to become one of the newest members of the Chattanooga Fire Department.

“I see it as a good way to serve the community, give back to the community,” Seamster said.



He made it through the six month Fire Academy. He completed EMT training and mastered a number of other skills, like Fire Ground Survival.

“When we first got in turnouts. That was challenging. You know, dealing with the heat, especially being dead of the summer, that was challenging. That was probably the most challenging part dealing with the heat and being in full turnouts,” Seamster said.

He’s not the only cadet who’s a former professional athlete. Rhande Haskett played basketball oversees.

“I wanted to be apart of a job that is greater than yourself and so this was a great opportunity to serve others and put yourself last,” Haskett said.

Both Seamster and Haskett learned skills from being an athlete that they are going to use in their new job.

“Being apart of a team and learning how to work with other people with different backgrounds and also learning how to listen to others and accomplish the same task and getting it done successfully,” Haskett said.

“That is the most important part of this, to get the job done together as a team,” Seamster said.

They’re excited to be back and serve a community they care about.

“Having your family and friends around you and knowing you can protect them and their families and just be there for them whenever they need it,” Haskett said.

The Chattanooga Fire Academy Graduation will be on Thursday, October 10, at 6 p.m. at the Clear Creek Church of Christ. The graduating class is made up of 23 cadets.