Greenwich's bravest has 2 more men in its ranks, one a Greenwich native, the other from Ridgefield - both of whom say their swearing-in Monday morning was the fulfillment of long-time aspirations.
Chief Peter Siecienski described the recruits Jeffrey Crumbine of Greenwich and Justin Culler of Ridgefield as "the cream of the crop. ... They were the top two candidates from more than 500 applicants." Siecienski made his remarks to more than 3 dozen family, friends and fire department personnel gathered at Monday morning.
The pair will have a little more than 2 weeks to relax and enjoy time with family and friends before embarking on the grueling 14-week training at the Connecticut Fire Academy in Windsor Locks on Feb. 14, Siecienski said. Both men have spent several years as volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
Siecienski told the men with their chosen career paths, they will "learn to live it and depend on the indivisuals you live and work with 24 hours, 7 days a week ... in life threatening situations. We welcome you and your family to our family."
Crumbine, 32, a graduate of Georgetown University and Fordham University, where he earned an MBA, has been a volunteer with the for 3 years and an EMT with the Stamford Emergency Medical Service for about 8 months.
"I am very, very sincerely happy," said the lifelong Greenwich resident, who was married in June to fellow Greenwich High School classmate Elise Di Vincenzo Crumbine. "This is the happiest day of my life."
Culler, 27, is a resident of Ridgefield. "I have dedicated the last 3 years of my life for this. I thank my parents for letting me follow my dream," said Culler, who has been a firefighter and emergency medical technician in New Fairfield for 2 1/12 years.
Culler has been taking classes in firefighting, hazardous materials and emergency medical services for 3 years. "I've been taking the classes to help me to get to where I'm at today," Culler said as his parents, Robin and Thomas Culler, beamed with pride.
Before administering the oath of office, First Selectman Peter Tesei, who also serves as the Greenwich Fire Commissioner, said, "The role of firefighers has become more complex and challenging. One of the things we never take advantage of in Greenwich is life safety. It is most important to have the most qualified people" for the job.