BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The City of Buffalo is welcoming a new group of firefighters.

13 new recruits graduated from the academy Friday.

Fire Commissioner William Renaldo says this was one of the smallest and most tight-knit classes in the department’s history. And Mayor Byron Brown applauded them for their bravery, during a tough time.

“The Buffalo Fire Department is one of the best departments in the entire nation. And the men and women that come into the department are the best of the best,” said Mayor Brown.

In the last 3 years, the city has added almost 200 new firefighters to the department.