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Release Date: October 14, 2014

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TRENTON, N.J. — Mayor Eric Jackson today swore in 12 new firefighters at a ceremony held in the atrium at Trenton Fire Department headquarters on Perry Street. The new class brings the total number of firefighters in the department to 224.


“I am pleased to be able to welcome these first responders to a department that I am personally proud of for its history, professionalism and preparedness,” said Mayor Jackson. “On this auspicious occasion, I am also proud to introduce the Trenton Emergency Medical Service’s first female African-American captain, Diamond Crawford. Her hard work, perseverance and dedication are an inspiration to us all.”


The 12 new firefighters’ salaries are funded by a $14.9-million Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant that was awarded to the department in January 2013. The new firefighter recruits are Angel Arce-Santiago, Khalief Bethea, Dean Gallo, Jose Gomez, Rashawn Jenkins, Peter Mancini, Juan Martinez, Jose Sanchez, Angel E. Santiago, Jr., Kevin Soto, Akiyse Watkins and Bryan White, Jr. After 12 weeks of training at the Mercer County Fire Academy in Lawrence, they will join fire companies around Trenton.


Also, promotions within the ranks of Trenton Emergency Medical Service (TEMS) personnel will see Captain Kevin A. Guido (nine years of service) promoted to Chief; Kelly A. Montesano (eight years of service) promoted to Captain; and Diamond Crawford (10 years of service) promoted to Captain.


“I am elated that the Trenton Emergency Medical Service, which has been a great partner and asset to the city, is getting well-deserved recognition,” said Fire Director Bashir, who also oversees the operations of the TEMS.


The federal SAFER grant program was established to provide funding directly to fire departments to enable them to increase the numbers of trained firefighters for their respective communities. It is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


The Trenton Fire and Emergency Services Department was first established as a volunteer company in 1747. The nation’s oldest fire company, it became a paid department in 1892. The company has a diverse first-responder mission, including fire suppression, fire prevention, control of hazardous materials emergencies, response to natural disasters, and rescue of trapped or injured persons within the city.


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