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Chief Timothy J. Grenno is pleased to announce that the Whitman Fire Department has sworn in three new firefighters as a result of a budget override, which allowed the department to increase its hiring capacity for the first time in more than 50 years.
The override of Proposition 2 1/2 last year allowed the Whitman Fire Department to hire three additional members to more adequately staff shifts and help the department mitigate its growing workload. Since the department became a full-time department in 1965, yearly calls have increased from just under 500 to well over 2,600 reported last year. These new hires will increase the department's shift strength from five members per shift to six members per shift.
New firefighters Zachary Baldwin, Russell Lucas and Jerry Thompson were sworn in during a ceremony at Whitman Town Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
"We're not only excited to celebrate this huge milestone in Whitman history, but also to bring on three extraordinary new members," Chief Grenno said. "Adding three additional firefighters to our roster will ensure that we have enough people each shift to respond to calls and better protect the community."
Firefighters Baldwin, Lucas and Thompson all graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in January, after having previously been hired by the department in October as paramedics.Firefighter Baldwin, of Whitman, joined the department as an EMT and has since become a certified paramedic. A 2012 graduate of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School (WHRHS), Firefighter Baldwin worked as an EMT for Brewster Ambulance Service in Quincy prior to joining the Whitman Fire Department.
Firefighter Lucas, of Hanson, served as a call firefighter for the Hanson Fire Department as well as paramedic for South Shore Hospital (SSH) before joining the Whitman Fire Department. Also a graduate of WHRHS, Firefighter Lucas is a certified EMT and medic.
Firefighter Thompson, of Hanson, was hired by the department during his paramedic education. Thompson graduated from WHRHS and went on to serve as a call firefighter for the Hanson Fire Department. During that time, he also worked for the school district in the maintenance division. He later enrolled in a paramedic program and became a certified medic. Thompson continues the fire service legacy of his father, Hanson Fire Chief Jerome Thompson.
All three firefighters were hired off of the Massachusetts Civil Service List.