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Avedisian, Armstrong Swear in 13 New Firefighters

Warwick, RI – Mayor Scott Avedisian and Fire Chief Edmund B. Armstrong swore in 13 new firefighters Wednesday night before a crowd that packed all the seats in City Hall’s Council Chambers.

Also attending were Assistant Chief James McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Francis Colantonio, the Board of Public Safety members  Leslie Walaska Baxter, James Paolucci and Thomas P. McGovern, members of the Warwick Fire Department and family and friends of the recruits.

“You have proven that you have the courage to put yourselves in harm’s way to save lives,” Avedisian praised the new recruits.

“No matter the situation, remember first and foremost, that we are here to help. We are the ones who will be expected to bring calm to turmoil, and order to chaos. One thing that I can guarantee you,” Armstrong said, is for the next 20 years, the firefighters would be meeting people during the worst moments of their lives.

“They will be looking specifically to you to solve the challenges that they face. If you choose to treat them with respect and compassion, you will receive double respect from them, reward in return,” Armstrong told the new firefighters.

Chief Edmund Armstrong congratulated the new firefighters on the start of their careers.

Firefighter Douglas Hammond, the top recruit in the academy, also made a few brief remarks. Hammond, said Dep. Fire Chief Francis Colantonio, had only just learned he’d be speaking to his fellow recruits at noon that day. The news inspired a wave of laughs from the audience.

“We came in as complete strangers. We’re leaving as brothers and sisters,” said Hammond.


Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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