Paterson adds an ‘extremely diverse’ class of 33 firefighters | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Paterson adds an ‘extremely diverse’ class of 33 firefighters

By Jayed Rahman
Published: February 24, 2020


Municipal officials welcomed an “extremely diverse” class 33 new firefighters to the Paterson Fire Department on Monday morning.

Among the recruits are Latino, Arab, and African-American firefighters, officials said.

“We embrace our multi-culturalism. We have to have fire departments and police departments that reflect the population that we protect and ultimately serve,” said mayor Andre Sayegh. “These 33 individuals are joining an elite fire department.”

Fire chief Brian McDermott spent the past months trying to recruit residents to join the fire department. Fire officials held job fairs, distributed fliers at public meetings, libraries, and even street corners to encourage people to apply to become firefighters.

“This is an extremely diverse class,” said McDermott. He said the new firefighters will begin working on Wednesday.

McDermott said five of the recruits, who were already trained EMTs, are currently working. He said one, Edward Coscia, last week aided a mother and her baby when her water broke. His actions saved both of their lives.

saved a bariatric patient’s life by timely administering CPR.

Starting pay for firefighters is $32,366, said the chief. He pointed out the new recruits are filling vacancies in the department.

The class has two women firefighters. Both join six other women firefighters in the department, officials said.

Congressman Bill Pascrell praised both women for signing up to serve their community.

“You are about to embark on a career that requires tremendous courage and humility,” public safety director Jerry Speziale told the new recruits.

At the ceremony, fire officials honored deputy chief John “Jack” Duffy and firefighter Luis Vega for their service with plaques that will be mounted on their apparatus. Upon their retirement, the plaques will be mounted on the firehouse wall for generations of new firefighters to see.

Below are the firefighters who joined the force:

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Updated Feb. 25, 2020 at 11:20 a.m.

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