Putnam’s tradition of volunteerism in the emergency services field was highlighted again last week following the graduation of 29 young firefighters.
On Thursday evening before a standing room only audience at the Putnam Bureau of Emergency Services Training and Operations Center auditorium in Carmel, the first responders from Brewster, Carmel, Lake Carmel, Mahopac, Mahopac Falls, Patterson, Putnam Lake and Putnam Valley in addition to firefighters from Mohegan Lake, Croton Falls, South Salem and Somers in northern Westchester and New Hamburg in Dutchess County, were awarded New York State certificates signifying their completion of the rigorous 100-hour Firefighter One course.
Putnam’s Commissioner of Emergency Services Ken Clair not only praised the graduates for their accomplishment but the “dedicated instructors as well for guiding our newest recruits throughout the difficult yet rewarding process.”
Special thanks were offered to instructors Rob McDonald, Chuck Lewis, Justyn Lewis, Chris Brown, James Gagliardo, Brian Lena, Charles Eberhart, Eric Schmidt and Andrew Roberto.
McDonald described the successfully completed curriculum as the “foundation for firefighting careers. The course taught our graduates the meat and potatoes— skills, knowledge and the proper way to become a firefighter.”
Commissioner Clair joined by his Assistant Commissioner Robert Lipton in addition to County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Legislators Joseph Castellano of Southeast, Toni Addonizio of Kent, Amy Sayegh of Mahopac, Carl Albano of Carmel, William Gouldman of Putnam Valley and Nancy Montgomery of Philipstown congratulated the new firefighters for their dedication, determination and community spirit. “We are proud of all of you and remember never stop learning,” said the commissioner.
Odell also praised Putnam’s first responders: “You are part of a brotherhood and sisterhood that is unmatched for dedication to duty. Residents of Putnam truly appreciate your efforts.”
The Class of 2018 included: Samuel Kentish from the Brewster FD; Kimberly Bottge, Brian Vanderhoff, Raymond Gott, Donna Jaeschke, Blaise Denetra, Robert Hooten, Brianne Loprieno and Matt Lubera, all from the Carmel FD; Mahopac firefighters Christina Langlitz, John Nikisher, Rosemarie Nikisher, Richard Beetstra, Anthony Armistead and Abigail Mastropietro; Alex Scrivani from the Mahopac Falls Fire Department; John Barretto and Wilson Cajas from the Patterson FD; Putnam Lake FD graduate Don Comilloni and Putnam Valley firefighter Douglas McKim.
Others receiving diplomas were Matthew Schembri from Croton Falls, John Schlusser from New Hamburg, Matthew Kness from Mohegan Lake, Douglas Crockatt and Laurent Verard from Somers and Michael Palmesi from South Salem.
McDonald called the fire service a “brotherhood that binds around the world. Firefighters from Putnam Valley are always welcome in Paris and emergency first responders from County Cork in Ireland have an open door at fire houses in Carmel or Cold Spring.”