Greenwich FD Hires New Recruit
Recruit Michael Varanelli was at the top of the list of more than 800 candidates who applied to be a Greenwich firefighter.
Michael Varanelli has been a volunteer firefighter in upstate Connecticut and he's seen first-hand the perils of the continuing conflict in Afghanistan.
The combat medic who's in the Connecticut Army National Guard 143rd Military
Police Company became the newest recruit sworn in as a member of the Greenwich Fire Department.
Varanelli was sworn in as a Greenwich firefighter at a Town Hall ceremony Feb. 4 and now begins a 14-week training program at the Connecticut Fire Academy in Windsor Locks.
Greenwich Fire Chief Peter Siecienski said Varanelli represents "the cream of the crop." He is the first recruit appointed from a new eligibility list compiled by the town.
"There were more than 800 applicants. More than 600 took the written test and only the top 65 moved forward to fire officer reviews" and additional evaluations, Siecienski said.
Varanelli was administered the oath of office by First Selectman Peter Tesei, who's also Greenwich's Fire Commissioner. "It is a great honor to administer the oath of office ... without police, fire and EMS, we could not exist as a community," Tesei said. Tesei also said Varanelli was joining the department's family —"once you're in, you're in."
To commemorate his appointment as the first recruit in 2014, Siecienski presented Varanelli with his badge — number 1401.
Varanelli has been a volunteer firefighter for six years in upstate Harinwton. He has an advanced EMT certification in addition to his combat medic training and is a candidate for a bachelor's degree in public administration from Central Connecticut State University.
"I'm going to give my all. I'll do whatever I can to be the best fireman possible. I'm truly looking forward to working with every single one of you, so thank you for letting me be a part of your family," Varanelli told about two dozen Greenwich firefighters and command personnel who attended the ceremony.