Poughkeepsie Fire Department adds six professional firefighters

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City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, new firefighters Joseph Alphonse, Paul DeAngelis, Devon Defiore, Sam Loussedes, Jake Lawlor and Joshua Smith, and Fire Chief Joseph Franco

POUGHKEEPSIE – The City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department held a swearing-in ceremony for six new firefighters on Friday.  Gathered in the common council chambers, Mayor Rob Rolison thanked the family and friends of the new hires for letting them work for the city.

“These men are joining a historical and very proud department,” Rolison told the audience, noting that the city’s administration “Stands behind our first responders who do very difficult and dangerous work.”

Firefighter Jake Lawlor taking his ceremonial oath of office.

The six new members of the department that answers approximately 5,000 calls per year out of three stations took their oath of office from the City Chamberlain before being handed their probationary helmet shields by newly appointed Fire Chief Joe Franco.

With the new hires, the department has 65 members, including Chief Franco.  “We’re excited to be growing the department’s ranks after more than a decade of losing members due to retirements and attrition,” said Poughkeepsie Firefighter and IAFF Local 596 Union President Nick Bucher.

Of the six new hires, four will be heading to the State Firefighter Academy at Montour Falls beginning on Sunday.  Paul DeAngelis is pre-trained from a different system and will learn the Poughkeepsie techniques in-house.  The sixth, Firefighter Jake “Discount Jake” Lawlor, was hired by the Fairview Fire Department in 2020.  He graduated from the academy in July of 2020 and worked in the Fairview Fire Department until transferring to the City of Poughkeepsie in April of this year.

The four firefighters heading to the academy are Joseph Alphonse, Sam Loussedes, and Joshua Smith.  New hire Devon DeFiore will attend the academy and then return to Poughkeepsie to work in the same fire department that his brother Dante works in.

The academy is approximately 15 weeks of intensive training.  Upon graduation, the men will return to Poughkeepsie and learn the department-specific techniques used by the city fire department.