The Greenwich Fire Department promoted two firefighters and one lieutenant in a Monday morning ceremony in Greenwich Town Hall—a series of promotions that now has the department's Fire Marshal's office fully staffed for the first time in nearly a year.
Firefighter Steven Cacace was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to the department's training division. Promoted to the rank of deputy fire marshal were Lt. Chris Moynahan and Firefighter Chris Pratico. First Selectman Peter Tesei, who is the town's fire commissioner, administered the promotions.
With several dozen firefighters and all four deputy chiefs attending, Fire Chief Peter Siecienski praised his department's work, in light of two recent major fires and Hurricane Sandy. "I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your work. It's been a tremendous year and many, many hours of work over the last few months with the events that have occurred," Siecienski said in reference to the fatal Old Greenwich fire and the conflagration in Old Greenwich during Hurricane Sandy.
Tesei echoed Siecienski's comments. "It's not been easy for the fire service. We are fortunate to have you. I represent the 62,000 people who live here. You protect them and the others who travel here everyday," Tesei said.
Cacace is a 19-year veteran with several firefighting certifications, earned an associate's degree in fire safety from the University of New Haven and is a paramedic instructor. He was credited with saving a life in 1995 by using a defibrilator on a patient. He was sworn in as his wife Kathleen and son William, 7, and daughter Rebecca, 9, watched.
Pratico is a second-generation Greenwich firefighter. His father, Anthony, who retired as a fire inspector, watched his son promoted to deputy fire marshal. The younger Practico's son Michael, 7, stood as a mirror image of his father—raising his right hand as Tesei administered the promotion oath. Michael and his sister Olivia, 10, pinned the fire marshal's badge to their father's uniform.
Afterwards, Tesei quipped, "I think we may have a third generation here," prompting laughter from firefighters and family.
Before administering the oath, Tesei recalled growing up in the Glenville section of town and attending Glenville School with Pratico.
Moynahan, who became a lieutenant in 2009, also was promoted to deputy fire marshal. The 16-year veteran is a graduate of Towson University with a bachelor's degree in management and for the last three years has been assigned to the department's training division.
With the appointments of Pratico and Moynahan to the fire marshal's office, that staff is now at full-strength of a chief fire marshal and four deputies, according to Siecienski. They will begin state certification classes in January, a process that's expected to take six months, Siecienski said.
Tesei said having a full complement of fire marshals will enable that department to focus efforts on commercial fire safety inspections and public education.