Three Fire Department ‘Newbies’ Brings Belmont’s Staffing to 2009 Levels

Photo: Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman (from left) swears in Ryan Keane, Andrew Butler and Charles Gerrard as Belmont’s newest firefighters.

Belmont’s Fire Department has three “newbies” among its ranks starting last week.

Charles Gerrard, Andrew Butler, and Ryan Keane were appointed as firefighters on Monday, March 16 by Belmont Fire Chief David Frizzell, and sworn in by Town Clerk Ellen Cushman at the Town Hall in a brief ceremony.

The three new firefighters are also Massachusetts-certified paramedics. After their initial training, they will be sent to the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in Stow to participate in the nine week Career Recruit Training Program. While assigned at the academy, they will study firefighting strategy and tactics, fire ground evolutions, motor vehicle extrication, search and rescue, and hazardous materials mitigation among numerous other topics.

“We welcome the new firefighters and are looking forward to working with them. We wish them a long healthy and safe career with us,” said Frizzell.

These new firefighters are being hired as part of a Federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant to restore lost firefighter positions, bringing the department back to its 2009 staffing level of 57-and-a-half full-time equivalent (FTE) positions.  This level is still 23-and-a-half FTE positions lower than the department’s historic staffing level of 82 full-time employees and two part-time employees.

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