West Hartford Fire Department Interim Chief Gary Allyn presided over a badge-pinning ceremony Monday afternoon in the Town Hall Auditorium, recognizing the seven firefighters who received promotions in Dec. 2012.
Family members and friends of the newly-promoted attended the ceremony, and assisting in the pinning. Town Manager Ron Van Winkle and other town leaders as well as several of the firefighters who retired in late 2012 also were on hand to give their congratulations.
Allyn said that since 2011 he has hired several firefighters but has presided over the promotion of at least 12 to 15. The latest round of promotions was spurred by the retirement of 11 veteran firefighters on Nov. 30.
"We've seen big changes in the West Hartford Fire Department. It's exciting to see," said Allyn.
There are still 16 vacancies in the department, and additional hiring and promotion is expected.
The following individuals have been promoted:
Promoted to Battalion Chief: John Sokolowski and William Kall
Promoted to Captain: Keith Byrne and David McCombe
Promoted to Lieutenant: Jeffrey Dufresne and Joseph Robidoux
Promoted to Apparatus Operator: Mark Bassett and William Beebe