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New fire fighters to be chosen at Dec. 8 meeting

Date: 12/8/2008

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM The top three candidates for the two open positions in the Wilbraham Fire Department (WFD) were interviewed by the Board of Selectmen at their Dec. 1 meeting.

"Our backs are against the wall with these vacancies," Fire Chief Fran Nothe stated. He added that the biggest concern with the open positions is staying on budget, since the rest of the staff are working overtime to fill the gaps.

Nothe said a total of 28 applicants are vying for the open slots.

"The captains and myself reviewed the applications," Nothe explained of the hiring process. "We like pre-trained people ... and EMT Intermediate is the baseline." He said the fire department also looks at the current rank of each applicant. The more promising individuals are interviewed by the WFD, and the strongest candidates are then brought before the Board of Selectmen.

Nothe brought Tim Rogers, Tony Arventos and John Glabichy before the the selectmen last Monday evening.

Rogers had previously served with the WFD but was forced to resign due to a back injury, which has fully healed. He was appointed to the town's call fire fighter force in April and is looking to become a full-time fire fighter "to simplify [his] life." He currently works in the District Attorney's office in Springfield.

"You're a very unique candidate," Selectman James Thompson said. "You're coming back full circle."

Arventos is currently serving as a full-time lieutenant for the Monson Fire Department. He originally became interested in becoming a fire fighter after one aided him when he was in an automobile accident earlier in life.

When Selectman David Barry asked him what makes the job worthwhile, Arventos responded, "Just helping people every day. I know I'm making a difference every day."

Glabichy, who has applied for a job with the WFD before, is currently a captain with the Bondsville Fire Department. A friend who worked as a fire fighter with the Air Force got him interested in doing the duty. Glabichy trains others as a captain and while he is currently an EMT basic, he plans on soon achieving paramedic status.

He added that he's never heard anything bad about the Wilbraham Fire Department.

Nothe said he felt strongly that the first two candidates would be the best for the department.

Board of Selectmen Chair Patrick Brady said the board would be in position next week [Dec. 8] to make a decision.