Sunday afternoon the Halifax fire station was abuzz with enthusiasm and celebration in acknowledgement of one of their most distinguished members and the swearing in and welcoming of five new members.
Call Deputy Chief Kevin Miller reached a milestone of 45 years in his fire service career bringing congratulatory messages and plaques of recognition from the Halifax Board of Selectman, a citation of honorable service by Senator Mike Brady, former chiefs of the Halifax department, fellow current and retired firefighters, family, and friends.
As a call firefighter Miller has climbed the ranks with several opportunities to become a full-time member but he stayed the course keeping another full time job, raising a family, and now with his wife Kathy celebrating their time with grandchildren. Although Miller will not retire until spring he was humbled by the well-wishers who gathered to celebrate his career milestone.
During the observances Fire Chief Jason Viveiros acknowledged the blending of the firefighter families.
” It is important to have our families here. As firefighters we sometimes bring home the horrors that we have seen; our families are there to comfort us…I am pleased to have you here today to see some of the positive things we do. The swearing in and welcoming of a new firefighter is one of the great traditions of the fire services, “he said.
Among the firefighters who were sworn is call firefighter Jayne Pierce who brings with her a 21- year career in the fire services with a solid background as a skilled paramedic and EMT. Pierce who came out of retirement to accept the position was pinned by her husband, David.
Also sworn in by Halifax Town Clerk Barbara Gaynor were full time firefighters Joseph Gibbons, John Eaton, Adam Flaherty and Jordan Hill.
Viveiros praised the vast strengths and capabilities each of the firefighters will bring to Halifax fire service. He called them all a great new addition for the department.
Flaherty is also a veteran of Afghanistan.
Miller accepted several citations in recognition of his life achievements in the fire service.
Guest speaker and co-worker President of the Call Volunteer Association firefighter Rick Hayward recalled events over the years that he and Miller experienced together including well-worn gear, the old clutch fire trucks, and vehicles of past in Halifax.
They rode on the back steps to calls in winter time with no covering was a memory in itself, he said. Hayward evoked laughter and memories for many who were in attendance as they offered their wishes for Miller to celebrate another few decades in the fire service.