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Brattleboro Fire Department hires two and promotes four

BRATTLEBORO—The Brattleboro Fire Department put through two new hires and four promotions in a short ceremony last week.

In the early evening on Oct. 11, Town Clerk Annette Cappy swore in the new recruits and those receiving promotions. Fellow firefighters and family members filled the second floor common area in Central Station.

“This is the biggest movement [of personnel] we’ve seen in recent history,” Fire Chief Michael Bucossi said.

Jason Davis and Dave Emery Jr. were promoted to captain. Josh Jones and Kurt Schmit were promoted to lieutenant.

Kyle Rabideau and Alex Morin were the new hires.

“They have a long year of learning ahead of them,” Bucossi said.

New firefighters spend their first year on probation while they learn on the job.

All candidates went though an application process that included a written test, oral boards, and — for the top three candidates — interviews with the chief and assistant chief. Those applying for promotions also completed an essay.

The department made the personnel changes after shifts at the top of its chain of command.

In August, Assistant Fire Chief Peter Lynch left the department to take a job with the Vermont Fire Academy. The promotion of Capt. Leonard Howard III to assistant chief followed. A second captain also left the department last spring.

A happy Emery joked with family members. He said the oral boards were tough. During his 17 years in the department, Emery has served on boards as an interviewer. The experience taught him to anticipate difficult questions.

Emery said he looks forward to building on the foundation previous captains have laid and to training future firefighters.

Jones called the interview process “rigorous.”

He’s looking forward to the new responsibilities of lieutenant and said it will be an interesting transition from being one of the people taking orders to giving them.

But one thing that Jones likes about his colleagues is that no matter what rank one holds, everyone is part of the team.

“You are never alone,” he said.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #380 (Wednesday, October 26, 2016). This story appeared on page C4.

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