Watch Hill Fire Department
Watch Hill Fire Department
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May 26, 2024

WHFD Holds Swearing In Of Chief & Firefighters and Celebration of Service
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By Department Photographer Rebecca Schilke
September 9, 2022

The Watch Hill Fire Department held it's first Swearing In of Officers and Celebration of Service Event on Tuesday August 30 at the Fire Station. For the first time in 120 years the Department celebrated it's Firefighters in a special way. Our first full time Fire Chief was sworn in along with the Assistant & Deputy Chiefs, the District Fire Marshal, Company Officers, and Firefighters. We also added two members of the Department to the Distinguished Service Honor Roll.

Chief Dennis Reall was sworn in by District Moderator Joan Beth Brown officially as the 14th Chief Of Department. Our First Fulltime Chief.

Dennis Reall began his career in the fire service as a young volunteer firefighter in North Providence, where he grew up. He then continued on to a career with the North Providence Fire Department for 32 years retiring in 2017. He began his service to Watch Hill in 2020 when he was hired as a full time firefighter. In January 2022, Dennis was named as Acting Chief of Operations and then this past May named as the 14th Chief of the Watch Hill Fire Department. Dennis is our First Full Time Fire Chief! Chief Reall is a State Certified Firefighter and has numerous classes, certificates, and awards from his time in North Providence. He is credited along with then Firefighter Dave DeStafano, now Chief of the Belmont Massachusetts Fire Department, with saving a female from a burning dwelling in their community. In addition, he and then Lieutenant Al Peterson saved a drowning girl from the water in Governor Knotti Park in 2001. Further, Chief Reall has traveled along with the North Providence Decon Team to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as part of the recovery efforts from that devastating event. He had his badge pinned on by his wife, Tracy assisted by his Daughter, Gemma.

Assistant Chief Koretski and Deputy Chief Simmons were then sworn in by Mrs. Marian Desillier, the Matriarch of the Fire Department.
Chris had his badge pinned by his Grandmother, Betty Cugini, the daughter of Ashaway's First Fire Chief G. Byron Champlin while Jason's two boys, Logan and Camden pinned their Dad's badge on.

Captain Jane Perkins was unable to attend the event but, Lieutenants Dennis Mello, Dennis Evans, Ray Tomao, and James Nicholas were sworn in by Board of Engineers Member Buck Barber and pinned by their family members. Fire Police Sergeant Bob Perkins was also sworn in and pinned by his wife Sharon.

Our firefighters raised their right hands also in an oath delivered by Chief Reall.

Finally, our Fire Marshal Chris Moore was sworn in by Deputy District Moderator Barbara Knowlton and pinned by his wife, Carrie.

The Department also recognized years of service by our firefighters. In total 230 years of dedication to the Watch Hill Fire Department was shown by 16 of our members to our seaside community.

Honored Member Charles Holdredge 64 Years
Deputy Chief Jason Simmons 31 Years
Past Chief Scott Harold 29 Years
Captain Jane Perkins 22 Years
Past Lieutenant Lance Murphy 21 Years
Fire Police Sergeant Bob Perkins 20 Years
Lieutenant Dennis Evans 19 Years
Fire Police Officer Brain Capizzano 18 Years
Lieutenant Ray Tomao 13 Years
Assistant Chief Christopher Koretski 11 Years
Firefighter Patrick Majeika 10 Years
Lieutenant Dennis Mello 8 Years
Lieutenant James Nicholas 7 Years
Firefighter Ray Elterich 7 Years
Past Lieutenant Bill Davis 7 Years
Firefighter Rees Harold 7 Years

The night ended with a prayer by North Providence Fire Chaplain Fr. Joe Pescatello and our members were lead out by Chief Bob Bradley on the bagpipes.

An amazing night of celebration was experienced by all who joined us. We were honored to have many neighboring Chiefs, Firefighters, Family Members, and Friends as part of the celebration. More can be read about our Distinguished service Honor Roll awardees in our other news post.

Special thanks to the following individuals and groups for their assistance:
-Westerly Police Honor Guard
-Washington County Fire Police Association
-Westerly Fire Department
-Misquamicut Fire Department
-Chief Bob Bradley
-Fr. Joe Pescatello
-Dan Hyland
-Rebecca Schilke
-Steve Cersisimo
-Stillman Uniform

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