On a day when communities throughout the United States are reminded of the sacrifice and duty of their public safety officers, in light of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, Needham quietly celebrated two of its own.
Firefighters Dennis Condon and Peter Cosgrove received promotions in June and were recognized at Tuesday’s meeting, following a moment of silence for the first responders and other victims of the 2001 attacks.
“If 9/11 taught us anything, it’s how much police and fire are on the front lines and how much you do on behalf of the community,” Selectman Jerry Wasserman told Condon and Cosgrove, who attended the meeting along with Needham Fire Chief Paul Buckley and Police Chief Phil Droney.
Buckley agreed that, while it was a somber day, it was also very fitting that the department celebrate two of its public safety officers on that day.
Condon, hired by the department in 1986 and promoted to lieutenant shortly after, was most recently promoted to captain. He will remain at Station 2, Buckley said.
Cosgrove was hired in August 1985 and was most recently promoted to lieutenant. He will be moved to Station 1.
Buckley said it was both “humbling and rewarding” to work on a daily basis with professionals such as Condon and Cosgrove.
He noted that the department valued three qualities above all else: education, dedication and experience. The first two, he said, were fairly easy to achieve—education could be acquired through programs such as the Massachusetts Fire Academy, while dedication and commitment were “absolutely required” for a job with the Needham Fire Department.
“But the experience piece is something where there's only one way to get it—by putting the time in,” Buckley said.
He said the department’s success relied on a good mix of employees, from the younger, stronger, more ambitious firefighters to those who have years of experience on the job.
“We have people that know the streets, know the buildings, know the people and know the town,” Buckley said.
In his remarks, Cosgrove said he was happy to be working in Needham and “looking forward to the next part of my career.”
Condon said he could think of only one job that was on par with working for the fire department.
“It’s truly been my pleasure to work in the town of Needham on the Fire Department,” he said. “Other than being a relief pitcher for the, now defunct, Red Sox, I can’t think of a better job.”
Selectman John Bulian noted: “You’d make more money pitching for the Red Sox, but we’re pleased you’re pitching for our town.”