SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

October 1, 2012

New firefighters, lieutenant sworn in

By Bethany Bray
The Salem News

SALEM — Four new full-time firefighters were sworn in last week in Salem, and another member of the department was promoted to lieutenant.

Mayor Kim Driscoll and fire Chief David Cody administered the oath to new firefighters Michael Buonfiglio, Matthew Keane, Steven McCarthy and Jason Tarasuik, as well as newly promoted Lt. Richard Thomas at Thursday’s meeting of the City Council.

Thomas and one of the new firefighters are filling a vacancy or retirement, and the three others are new positions, said Cody.

The firefighters’ extended families packed the City Council chamber Thursday night, taking photos as they were sworn in.

Driscoll called it “a happy occasion ... I’m very, very proud of our fire department.”

Thomas, a Salem firefighter since 2008, is the son of Salem firefighter Jon Thomas. His grandfather, William Thomas, retired as a Salem fire captain.

“Richard is just a good fit,” said Cody. “He’s well-liked. He came (to the department) from the Coast Guard. He’s very sharp; he was the highest scorer on the lieutenant exam.”

Buonfiglio, Keane, McCarthy and Tarasuik will start a three-month certification course at the fire academy in January. Tarasuik begins working in mid-October; the others three joined the department over the summer.

Cody said Buonfiglio is bilingual in English and Spanish, which will be helpful.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them (on the job, once certified) in April. It will be great to have our group rounded out,” Cody said.

Bethany Bray can be reached at bbray@salemnews.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.