In a ceremony last week, 12 new firefighters were brought in the Cranston fire department, while 15 current members of the department were given promotions.
Richard Bedard and James Warren were promoted to the rank of Deputy Chiefs in the department. John Boyer, Gary Meinertz, William Morrocco, Mark Stevens, and James Woyciechowski were all promoted to Captain.
Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant were Mark Bouchard, Stephen Croft, David Davey, Christopher Labrecque, Mark Laprade, Joseph Lupino, Thomas Moss, and Thomas Rhimoshytus.
Sworn into the Cranston department were: Gregory Carcieri, Micah Chavez, Gregory Dean, Mark Euell, Shannon Fultz, Katie Nichols, Shawn Lindell, James Lombardi, Ryan Plante, Mark Silva, Joseph Tremblay, and Bryan Wall.
Fire Chief William McKenna was especially proud that two of the new members, Fultz and Nichols, are females, which brings the total number of female firefighters in Cranston to three.
“They’re a great group of individuals, they work well as a team,” McKenna said about the new class. “We’ve got two new females coming on the job, and the one we hired last year is doing very well. We anticipate they’ll do the same.”
McKenna said the 12 additions bring the fire department up to a full complement of firefighters.
In a speech during the ceremony, Mayor Allan Fung expressed pride in the work the fire department has done, especially over the past year, referencing the January chemical fire at the Prosys and Gen Craft facility on Elmwood Avenue.
“Despite the challenging conditions, you kept our residents safe and kept a bad situation from becoming a catastrophe,” Fung told the members of the department who were present at the ceremony. “This would not be possible without the advanced training and preparedness that our fire department is known for not just across Rhode Island, but the country.”
The mayor also referenced the carbon monoxide situation that happened at Cranston East this year.
“When the safety of the environment at one of our schools came into question, it was the members of this fire department who spent days in the building to ensure that our school children always remained safe, and drove through the night to the homes of many of our kids just to be sure every single person was checked out,” he said.
Fung also praised the addition of Fultz and Nichols to the department, saying that the fire department is a “truly modern workforce” and continues to diversify to “reflect the community it serves.”
Chief McKenna was optimistic that the new recruits, and those promoted, will continue helping the department innovate going forward.
“We’re moving in a very positive direction,” he said. “We’re making advancements in training, upgrading our communication and apparatus. We’ve got a bright future ahead.”
“Cranston residents can go to sleep at night knowing that our firefighters are some of the most highly trained and qualified, and ready to respond within minutes to fires, crashes, and every imaginable emergency,” added Fung.