SOUTHWICK – Earlier this week, Southwick Fire Chief Russ Anderson announced the appointment of five members to the fire department call force.
The call force is a volunteer position that involves an individual on call for duty from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. and, according to Anderson, between 30 to 40% of their calls happen within those hours.
Receiving appointments are: David Avolone (firefighter), Anna Criscio (EMT), Kailynn Kingsley (EMT), Ian Schneider (photographer) and Pavel Gut (EMT/firefighter).
“Their participation in this program is vital to our organization,” said Anderson.
Anderson added that being on the call force allows new people to gain experience. Four of the five current members on the Southwick Fire Department’s career force, started on the call force.
“It starts the process and it allows people to see if it’s something they like,” said Anderson.
The difference between the career force and the call force is that the career force is a full-time position that is at least 42 hours per week.
Four of the five appointments on the call force are new to the Southwick Fire Department. Gut, was already on the department.
A stepping stone in the department, the call force is always changing due to a lot of the individuals being in college or moving up the ladder at the Southwick Fire Department or at another department. Anderson noted that he and other department officials are looking at possible prospects for the call force every four to six weeks.
“We’re constantly reviewing applications,” said Anderson. “We’re always recruiting.”
The Southwick Fire Department hired two EMT’s, Chris Moccio and Anthony Angotta, onto to the call force in May 2018 then, in December 2018, hired Steven Pinette and Dave Smith as lieutenant’s on the call force.