A class of 22 recruits were pinned with firefighter badges on Thursday, August 6, becoming firefighters with the Worcester Fire Department.
The class of 21 men and one woman had anything but a traditional training period, interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After starting their training in November, the recruits then transitioned to distance learning — something the Fire Department had never done.
Recruits were later required to quarantine after one recruit tested positive for COVID-19.
According to Worcester Fire Chief Michael Lavoie, the recruits’ roller coaster ride included being told at one point they were likely to get laid off. Lavoie said later the same day, he received new information, letting the recruits know layoffs wouldn’t be coming.
Along with Lavoie, District Chief Anthony Grokaitis, Mayor Joe Petty, City Manager Ed Augustus and City Councilor Kathleen Toomey wished the new class well before their swearing in ceremony.
Each recruit received their Fire Department badge, pinned on by the person of their choice, and their Fire Department training diploma.
The new firefighters of the Worcester Fire Department are:
Lead Photo: New Worcester Firefighter Paul Blanchard Jr. with his daughter Julia pinning his new badge on