Seventy cadets were sworn-in today as firefighters in the Philadelphia Fire Department, pledging to protect lives, property and the environment as they embark on careers in one of the busiest departments in the nation.

The joyous graduation ceremony at Irvine Auditorium was filled with the friends and relatives who made it possible for Class 194 to make it through more than six months of rigorous training instilled by the PFD’s stellar instructors.

Of course, graduation is not the end of their journey; it is only the beginning.

“It’s one thing to get there — and another thing to stay there,” said Fire Commissioner Adam K. Thiel. “So we will continue to test the depth of your commitment, your dedication. We will always appreciate your service.”

Class 194, which chose “Rock Steady” as its motto, included another 8 cadets from the Upper Darby Fire Department. Together, the 78 members forged a bond that class members said they will cherish.

“We learned that the Fire Department is not only an organization that is enriched in tradition, but also a family enriched in camaraderie,” said Daniel Tietz, one of the spokesmen for the class.

Another 75 cadets — Class 195 — are scheduled to start at the Fire Academy on Oct. 1.