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Warwick Honors WFD Retirees, New Chiefs, Promoted Firefighters

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] From left, Asst. WFD Chief David Morse and WFD Chief James McLaughlin wait for the awards ceremony to begin at Warwick City Hall Jan. 27.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] From left, Asst. WFD Chief David Morse and WFD Chief James McLaughlin wait for the awards ceremony to begin at Warwick City Hall Jan. 27.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Asst. WFD Chief David Morse and WFD Chief James McLaughlin shake hands after Morse is sworn in as the new Assistant Fire Chief.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Asst. WFD Chief David Morse and WFD Chief James McLaughlin shake hands after Morse is sworn in as the new Assistant Fire Chief.
Warwick, RI — A crowd of Warwick Firefighters and well-wishers joined City officials Wednesday night to celebrate the retirements of Chief Edmund B. Armstrong and Assistant Chief Bruce C. Cooley, as well as several promotions, including James McLaughlin and David Morse to Warwick Fire Chief and  Assistant Fire Chief, respectively.

Outside City Hall, every parking spot was filled, with some cars spilling over into the nearby shopping plaza. Inside, all the seats and most of the standing room was also taken as well-wishers, members of the Warwick Fire Department, the Warwick Police Command Staff, Mayor Scott Avedisian, the Public Safety Committee and the Warwick City Council gathered to honor the promotions and retirements the Fire Department’s top leadership, but also the promotions of several lieutenants and captains. 

Mayor Scott Avedisian spelled out the big shoes McLaughlin will need to fill, and his confidence that he’d rise to the task. “Tonight you are being entrusted with the best fire department in the state of Rhode Island. We expect nothing, but incredible, incredible leadership, and know that you will continue in the model of so many have gone before you,” Avedisian said.

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Newly sworn in Assistant Fire Chief David Morse, his wife, Lucy, daughter, Stephanie, and granddaughter, Abigail.
“I am honored, truly honored, be be given the opportunity to serve this great fire department, in this great city. Dreams sometimes come true,” said newly minted Warwick Fire Chief James McLaughlin.

McLaughlin repeated his intent to reach out to the rank and file firefighters to make sure their input about the department is heard, and his plan to host open houses at the city’s fire stations.

The new chief also put what he called a minority “five percent” of firefighters who don’t pay the job proper respect on notice. “These five percent are not bad firefighters. They are not bad people. They just do not give the job the same amount of respect that I believe it deserves,” he said.

Some, he said, don’t wear the uniform properly, take excessive leave, don’t treat people on the road with respect. Going forward, he said, that behavior won’t be tolerated.

The warning was the sole piece of tough love McLaughlin had to deliver. The majority of the evening focused on aspiring to solid future work and honoring past service. First on the list for the latter was former Chief Edmund Armstrong, who received a plaque from the WFD as well as from the city.

“Chief, this plaque is on behalf of the members of the Warwick Fire Department,” said McLaughlin. The mounted ax bore an inscription from Mayor Scott Avedisian and the Fire Department, among other well-wishers, McLaughlin said.

Councilwoman Donna Travis also presented Armstrong with a plaque, the fond wishes of the Council, and gratitude for his 35 years of service. “We appreciate it and you know we’re going to miss you,” said Travis.

In addition to the retirement of Armstrong and Cooley, the ceremony also recognized the service of retiring Captain Matthew F. McCauley, Rescue Captain Bryan J. Owens, Lieutenant Carl Pecchia and Lieutenant Michael F. Shea.

Richard J. Bellevance was sworn in as Battalion Chief, Keith R. Brown and Marcel R. Fontenault, Jr. were promoted to the rank of Captain, Gerard A. Bogossian was promoted to Rescue Captain, William A. Alsfeld, Scott C. Iamarone, Daniel J. DeRobbio and Christopher W. Albro were sworn in as Lieutenants. Bradford T. Ginaitt and Michael P. Kretchman took the oath of Rescue Lieutenant.

“For those being promoted this evening, especially Chief Morse and Battalion Chief Bellevance, thank you for understanding your responsibility, not only to do your jobs well, but to be that role model for new firefighters and veteran firefighters alike. I know I’m not alone in wishing you all the best in the new roles each of you are undertaking,” said Avedisian.

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Assistant Fire Chief David Morse is pinned by his wife, Lucy, daughter, Stephanie, and granddaughter, Abigail.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski} Chief James McLaughlin was pinned by his son and father Jan. 27 at City Hall
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski} Chief James McLaughlin was pinned by his son, Ryan and father, Gilbert, retired Providence Fire Department chief. Jan. 27 at City Hall.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] [CREDIT: Rob Borkowski} Chief James McLaughlin is sworn in by Mayor Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Chief James McLaughlin is sworn in by Mayor Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]
WFD Promo 17
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Council President Donna Travis congratulates retiring WFD Chief Edmund Armstrong.
 

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Richard Bellevance is sworn in as Battalion Chief by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Richard Bellevance is sworn in as Battalion Chief by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Rick Bellevance with his daughter, North Providence Firefighter Victoria Bellavance, Warwick Firefighter Cody Bellevance, and his daughter Elizabeth.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Rick Bellevance with his daughter, North Providence Firefighter Victoria Bellavance, Warwick Firefighter Cody Bellevance, and his daughter Elizabeth.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Firefighter Keith Brown is sworn in as Captain by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Firefighter Keith Brown is sworn in as Captain by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]Captain Keith Brown is pinned by his wife, Sarah and son, Kevin.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]Captain Keith Brown is pinned by his wife, Sarah and son, Kevin.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]Captain Keith Brown with his wife, Sarah and son, Benjamin.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski]Captain Keith Brown with his wife, Sarah and son, Benjamin.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Marcel Fontineau Jr. is sworn in as Captain by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Marcel Fontineau Jr. is sworn in as Captain by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Marcel Fontineau Jr. gives his wife a kiss after being sworn in as Captain.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Marcel Fontineau Jr. gives his wife a kiss after being sworn in as Captain.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] [CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Newly sworn-in Captain Marcel Fontineau Jr. with his wife, Barbara and their daughters, Amanda and Essie.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Newly sworn-in Captain Marcel Fontineau Jr. with his wife, Barbara and their daughters, Amanda and Essie.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Gerard Bogossian, sworn in as Rescue Captain by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Gerard Bogossian, sworn in as Rescue Captain by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
 

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Gerard Begosian, promoted to Rescue Captain, with his wife Corinne and daughter, Julia.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Gerard Begosian, promoted to Rescue Captain, with his wife Corinne and daughter, Julia.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Scott Iamarone is sworn in as Lt. by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Scott Iamarone is sworn in as Lt. by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Scott Iamarone is pinned as Lt. by his wife, Sheila and their children.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Scott Iamarone is pinned as Lt. by his wife, Sheila and their children.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] New WFD Fire Lt. Scott Iamarone with his wife, Sheila and their children.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] New WFD Fire Lt. Scott Iamarone with his wife, Sheila and their children.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Dan DeRobbio is sworn in as WFD Lt. by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Dan DeRobbio is sworn in as WFD Lt. by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Dan DeRobbio is pinned as WFD Lt. by his wife, Cindy, son Danny, daughter, Brianna (not pictured).
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Dan DeRobbio is pinned as WFD Lt. by his wife, Cindy, son Danny, daughter, Brianna (not pictured).
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] [CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] WFD Lt. Dan DeRobbio with his wife, Cindy, son Danny, and daughter, Brianna.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] WFD Lt. Dan DeRobbio with his wife, Cindy, son Danny, and daughter, Brianna.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Christopher Albro is sworn in as Lt. by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Christopher Albro is sworn in as Lt. by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] [CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] WFD Lt. Christopher Albro is pinned by hs wife, Allison, carrying their daughter, Brooke.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] WFD Lt. Christopher Albro is pinned by hs wife, Allison, carrying their daughter, Brooke.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] [CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] WFD Lt. Christopher Albro with hs wife, Allison, and daughter, Beverly.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] WFD Lt. Christopher Albro with his wife, Allison, and daughter, Beverly.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Chief McLaughlin is sworn in by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Chief McLaughlin is sworn in by Mayor Scott Avedisian.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Michael Kretchman, newly promoted to Rescue Lt., with his wife Jess and his parents.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Michael Kretchman, newly promoted to Rescue Lt., with his wife Jess and his parents.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Bradford Ginaitt newly sworn in Rescue Lt., is pinned by his parents, retired Rescue Captain Richard and Mother, Sharon.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Bradford Ginaitt newly sworn in Rescue Lt., is pinned by his parents, retired Rescue Captain Richard and Mother, Sharon.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Bradford Ginaitt newly sworn in Rescue Lt., with his parents, retired Rescue Captain Richard and Mother, Sharon.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] Bradford Ginaitt newly sworn in Rescue Lt., with his parents, retired Rescue Captain Richard and Mother, Sharon.
 

 

 

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 WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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