WALLINGFORD — More than 100 people attended a swearing-in ceremony Wednesday at Fire Department headquarters, which included three internal promotions and two new hires.
From within the fire department, Lt. Aaron Desjardins and Lt. Jeffrey Dingler were promoted from firefighter/paramedic, and Battalion Chief Robert Colangelo was promoted from lieutenant.
Firefighters choose who pins on their badges, and the choice carries some personal or professional significance, Fire Chief Richard Heidgerd said.
Desjardins’ and Dingler’s wives pinned on their badges. Former Battalion Chief Jim Duffy, who retired two months ago, pinned on Colangelo’s badge.
Two new members were sworn in as firefighter/paramedics, Daniel Telgarsky and James McEwan.
Telgarsky, 41, is a former AMR medic in Hartford, and served in the Marines for four years.
His badge was pinned by his father, Al Telgarsky Jr., formerly of the Norwich Public Works department.
McEwan, 25, is a fourth-generation firefighter. He’s a former Stamford paramedic who started doing EMS in high school.
“I was born into it, really,” McEwan said. “Growing up, I kind of always wanted to do that, but I always wanted to be like my dad.”
His badge was pinned by his father, Marc McEwan, a deputy fire marshal in Darien.
Town Clerk Barbara Thompson administered the oath to the five firefighters.
Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said the ceremony was a time to “recognize the accomplishments” of those who take on the responsibility of emergency response.
Also in attendance was Guilford Fire Chief Charles Herrschaft, North Branford Fire Chief William Seward, North Haven Deputy Fire Chief Scott Martus and Wallingford Town Council Chairman Vincent Cervoni.
Heidgerd said that how often the department holds swearing-in ceremonies depends on the frequency of new hires and promotions.
“This round, we waited about three months, so we had all five happening at the same time,” he said.
As battalion chief, Colangelo will be stationed in fire headquarters on Masonic Avenue. Other staffing locations haven’t been decided yet, Heidgerd said.
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