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Old and new faces joining Wilbraham Fire Department

Date: 12/15/2008

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM The Wilbraham Fire Department will soon be seeing a new face as well as two familiar faces.

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved Edward Rigney as the department's new Fire Commissioner. He was one of the top four applicants for the position, and he will be serving in this capacity until June 2010.

"A Fire Commissioner is like a liaison between the Board of Selectmen and the fire department," Fire Chief Francis Nothe explained. "He'll serve as a sounding board for the Board of Selectmen."

Nothe added that Rigney is "a longtime friend of the department" who also served as a fire commissioner in the early 1980s.

"He always goes that extra mile," Nothe said.

The Board of Selectmen also appointed two new fire fighters to the department -- one brand new to Wilbraham and one who is returning after a long absence.

Tony Arventos is currently a 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.

Tim Rogers worked with the Wilbraham Fire Department in the late 1970s, but had to resign his position due to a back injury. He has been serving as a prosecutor for the Hampden County district attorney's office but he wanted to return to firefighting.

Rogers was officially hired first by the selectmen so that he would have seniority over Arventos.

Nothe said the new fire fighter appointees will have to undergo a physical and complete CORI checks before they can start serving. He predicts they will have everything completed and will begin work either the last week in December or in the first two weeks of January.