Belleville swears in new firefighters during ceremony, promotes veterans

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BELLEVILLE, NJ — On June 17, the Belleville Fire Department promoted several department veterans and swore in six new firefighters.

“To the new firefighters, we welcome you into this proud department and urge you to make the most of your training,” Fire Chief John Olivieri said. “And to the officers receiving promotions, we are confident that your experience will serve you well in your new roles.”

Deputy Mayor Thomas Graziano said Belleville has always taken pride in the fire department and its long history of heroic service dating to 1882.

“You have a unique talent and skill which keeps Belleville residents safe and I want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Graziano said during the ceremony at Belleville High School’s auditorium. “Keep up the great work and be safe.”

Richard Cavanagh and Scott Wentworth were promoted to deputy chief, Scott Dupont and Michael McGreevy were promoted to battalion chief, Ralph Chimento and Erich Hochstuhl were promoted to captain, and Michael Corino was promoted to lieutenant. Additionally, Robert Knowles, Treyvon Blunt, Michael Cayli, Scott Dupont, Dat Khong and Alex Fuentes were sworn in as firefighters.

Although the members of the Belleville Fire Department are accustomed to rushing into danger, the COVID-19 pandemic posed an unprecedented challenge. In fact, the ceremony was delayed until mass vaccinations allowed it to be conducted in a safe manner.

“Unlike a fire, you can’t see, smell or feel a pandemic,” township manager Anthony Iacono said. “And I know that I speak for the entire Township Council when I say the way this department conducted itself in the last 16 months under the leadership of Chief John Olivieri has been simply remarkable. This department continues to meet and surpass expectations in professionalism and service to the people of Belleville.”

Photos Courtesy of Belleville Township