The South Orange Fire Department welcomed four new members during a ceremony at a Board of Trustees meeting in which Village President Alex Torpey swore in the new firefighters.
South Orange Fire Chief Jeff Markey was the first at the podium to introduce Timothy Loeser, Cory Cucciniello, Justin Franklin and Kerry Burke.
The four were among the 2013-2 graduates of the Essex County Police and Fire Academy and are certified as firefighter one and two and will now attend emergency medical training training classes for five weeks and will be assigned beginning in November.
“There will be a lot asked of them and they will rise to the occasion,” said Markey. “There are times when they will question the danger aspect of what they are doing and they will rise above it and have a very very rewarding career.”
Markey read a few highlights from the careers of the four recruits.
Loeser is a graduate of Seton Hall Prep and earned his Associates Degree at Gibbs college in criminal justice and serves in the US Army National Guard.
Burke earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York at Albany and has always dreamed of being a firefighter.
Franklin is a 2006 Columbia High School graduate, earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Rutgers University and volunteers as a mentor at local high schools.
Cucciniello is a 2001 Columbia High School graduate and comes from an long family tradition of public service in South Orange. His father is a retired police officer South Orange Police Officer, his aunt served as the Village Clerk for 24 years and Michael Cucciniello is a current South Orange Police Officer.
“All four are outstanding,” said Markey.
“I want to congratulate the village of South Orange who did a wonderful job of recruiting,” said Academy Director Rocco Miscia. “They went through very rigorous training of physical agility, marching, drilling etc. Why did we do that? For one word: discipline. They are the future of fire training and future of firefighters.”
Each firefighter took the oath with their hand on the Bible and family members at their sides ready to start their new positions in the South Orange Fire Department.