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Mayor de Blasio, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro swear in probationary firefighters

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MANHATTAN (PIX11) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro swore in a new class of 320 probationary firefighters Monday morning.

"Today, we honor and welcome 320 heroes with enormous talent, unrelenting work ethic and remarkable backgrounds into the FDNY family," the mayor said in a speech to the class.

"This year's class reflects the rich racial and ethnic diversity of our great city, and I couldn't be more proud. On behalf of 8.4 million New Yorkers, I want to thank each and every one of these heroes for their sacrifice and for their service."

The new class of probationary firefighters, known as "probies," is one of the most diverse in FDNY history with 45 percent of new recruits identifying as minorities.

Among the entering class, 17 percent identify as black, 24 percent as Hispanic and 4 percent as Asian. The class also includes three women, which brings the total of female firefighters in the department to 47.

They will attend a rigorous training program at the department's 18-week Fire Academy on Randall's Island whether they will learn about fire suppression, medical response and hazardous materials among other firefighting skills.

After the ceremony, de Blasio spoke at the New York Police Department graduation in Madison Square Garden, where he was greeted with a mixture of applause and boos from the crowd.

At one point of his speech to the rookie officers, de Blasio said “You didn’t create these problems.” In response, someone in the crowd shouted “No, you did!”

The mayor continued with his speech, by telling the graduates: “You can be part of the solution and that is a blessing.”