Thursday, November 23, 2023

5 new firefighters join township department

Five new firefighters, from left, Robert Casamatta, Jeremy Dochenetz,
Chief Brent Siegel, Lacey Marcotte, Jaqueline Przytulski and
Aidan Gawura officially joined the Northville Township department last week.
The Northville Township Fire Department welcomed five new firefighters last week, including the first two women to wear the uniform full time. 

Township Clerk Cynthia L. Jankowski administered the official oath of office to Robert Casamatta, Jeremy Dochenetz, Lacey Marcotte, Jacqueline Przytulski and Aidan Gawura in front of friends and family. 

The new recruits are expected to provide the highest level of fire, rescue and emergency medical services to the community, officials said. Each firefighter has several years of experience and is also a paramedic.  

One of the new firefighters is a former U.S. Marine who took U.S. Army Flight School training and is a UH-60 Blackhawk medevac pilot. Another leverages translation technologies to treat a global patient population while a third recruit is an ice water rescue instructor. Among the five is a rope rescue expert and a logistic specialist. 

“These historic additions build on a tradition of excellence which have made Northville Township a destination for professional first responders seeking a career rather than just a job,” said Fire Chief Brent Siegel. 

In 2022, the fire department welcomed the largest class of firefighter recruits in a decade with seven firefighters/paramedics joining the municipality. With these five additions, it brings the head count to 38, which matches staffing with incident volume. Fire calls for service have increased by nearly 49 percent since 2012 with the township population growth, which is just under 32,000 residents, officials said. The fire department responded to more than 3,500 incidents in 2022. 

“This is a significant day for the Northville Township Fire Department,” said Township Supervisor Mark J. Abbo. “Northville Township has a lot to offer, and we were able to recruit top candidates once again. We could not be more excited to attract this talent and we are thrilled to make history by adding two female firefighters to our department.” 

More than 20 years ago, before Northville Township Fire was a career department, it had a paid on-call female firefighter. Marcotte and Przytulski are looking forward to making history by being the first full-time female firefighters on staff. 

The new firefighters are Robert Casamatta, of Fowlerville who was formerly with the Garden City Fire Department; Jeremy Dochenetz, of Livonia, a former Canton Township Firefighter; Lacey Marcotte, of Belleville who formerly worked with the Wayne County Airport Authority; Jacqueline Przytulski, of Dearborn, who also worked at the Wayne County Airport Authority and Aidan Gawura, of Pinckney who was formerly with the Bloomfield Township Fire Department.

Northville Township Fire Department is an all-hazard emergency response department which responds to fire suppression, emergency medical service (EMS) and rescues. 

The department staff provides Advanced Life Support and takes pride in the department cardiac arrest survival rates, which are three times greater than elsewhere in the state and nation. 

The Northville Township Fire Department is also a member of the Western Wayne County Fire Department Mutual Aid Association, the Western Wayne County Hazardous Materials Response Team and the West Wayne County Urban Search and Rescue Team. 

“This badge represents the trust that our community places in you,” Siegel told the candidates before they took their oaths of office. “It signifies the faith they have in your abilities to respond to emergencies, to provide comfort in times of crisis, and to be a beacon of hope when all seems lost. It also represents the dedication and sacrifice you are willing to make for the greater good. Welcome to Northville Township.”