Dennis Fire Department welcomes new members thanks to federal grant and town support

Dennis Town Clerk Terri Bunce swears in the new firefighters as Dennis Fire Chief Mark Dellner looks on. Photo Kevin Morley/CWN

DENNIS – The Dennis Fire Department welcomed several new members to their family Tuesday with a swearing-in and promotion ceremony.

The department was recently awarded a $1.3-million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from the federal government for the hiring of 8 new firefighters.

The Firefighter/EMT’s who took the oath include Matthew Conlon, Daniel DiMatteo, Samuel Dunford and Nicholas Pedini.

The Firefighter/Paramedics are James Gonneville, Michael Demoracski, Robert Hooper, Anthony Muniz and Robert Reardon Jr.

Dennis Fire Chief Mark Dellner said the new hires represent a “huge step” in their staffing and manpower response for the community.

“Putting eight guys on means two per shift and that increases our efficiency and our safety level tremendously,” said Dellner.

The new positions will officially take effect onThursday, January 18, 2018.

The department will be adding a firefighter/ paramedic to fill a current vacancy.

New firefighters have to be emergency medical technicians or paramedics as well.

The SAFER grants are designed to help fire departments increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities.

The 3-year grant pays 75% of the new-hire employment costs for the first and second year, and 35% for the third. The community picks up the total cost thereafter.

For the grant to be awarded, the community must accept those terms.

Dennis voters did that at a special town meeting on October 17, 2017, after unanimous recommendations by the Dennis Board of Selectmen and Dennis Finance Committee.

“The Dennis Board of Selectmen and the Dennis Finance Committee asked all the tough questions. They vetted the issue very clearly and it really showed when we went to town meeting that there was not one question from the community because they know we did our homework,” said Dellner.

“The community has trust in us,” he said.

In addition to the nine new fulltime firefighters, the department has added Renee Riker of Dennis to the call department.

Dellner said the new firefighters mean increased fire protection, faster response times and a safer environment for the residents of Dennis.

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