Pittsfield Fire Dept. welcomes new top brass

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PITTSFIELD — A wave of recent retirements made way for a changeover at the Pittsfield Fire Department, and on Wednesday the city welcomed its newly promoted firefighting leaders with a ceremony at Taconic High School.

The event honored 10 officers who had moved up in rank — newly promoted Chief Thomas Sammons, Deputy Chief Ronald Clement, Deputy Chief Neil Myers, Capt. Robert Stevens, Capt. Kenneth Cowan, Capt. Daniel Aitken, Lt. James Ziter, Lt. Robert Leary, Lt. Kevin Brady, and Lt. Jacob Brown — who were pinned by their children, wives and loved ones.

Sammons said the pinning ceremony is a relatively new tradition that means a lot to the department.

"And it means a lot to me personally," he said. "I'm proud to stand next to these gentlemen."

Mayor Linda Tyer said the night's events held special meaning.

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"Your promotion sends a powerful message to the newest rookie that everyone can aspire to leadership," she said.

A firefighter stands among the noblest of professions, she said, and she commended the team for its dedication and sacrifice.

"I stand with you as together we pledge to work harder, learn more, and dedicate ourselves even more fully to the community we serve," she said before shaking hands with each of the newly pinned.

The Rev. Peter Gregory closed the event with a blessing that acknowledged gratitude for "the finest and firmest from among us" this holiday season.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.


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