WESTFIELD- The Westfield Fire Commission unanimously appointed a new firefighter Thursday afternoon after a months-long delay because the new hire was serving in the Marine Corps.
Thomas Flaherty was hired by the Westfield Fire Department after his original interview was supposed to take place on Oct. 9, 2019. Flaherty was on active duty in the Marines at the time, so his interview was allowed to be delayed for when he returned to Westfield.
In his public interview with the Fire Commission at Little River Station, Flaherty said that he was a machine gunner and small unit team leader while he was serving.
He had attended Springfield Technical Community College to get his Associates Degree in Fire Science. He is also certified as an EMT, but has not had the chance to work as one as he was deployed shortly after being certified.
He said he expects to begin paramedic school later this year. Fire Chief Patrick Egloff has a policy of having every firefighter become certified as a paramedic.
“I really look forward to starting this job. It’s something I’ve wanted for a really long time and hopefully I can do it to the best of my ability,” said Flaherty in his closing statement for the interview.
Officially, Flaherty’s hiring will be retroactive to Nov. 25, 2019, which is when he would have started had he done his interview in October. His actual start date will be Aug. 3.