Firefighters get their stripes

An appreciation dinner was held for all municipal employees in Waltham who make sure the town stays up and running all year round, culminating with the announcement of firefighter of the year and the stripes awarded for some recently graduated firefighters. From left: Gisele Chartrand, Jason Pilon, Kevin Pilon and Scott Kelly were the probies invited to take part of the burning of their probation-status tags.

Donald Teuma-Castelletti
WALTHAM Feb. 10, 2018
New firefighters in Waltham got to celebrate their graduation from rookie status by putting their old designation of “probie” up in flames on Saturday, in a wholly literal sense.
That’s because the fire department probationers – or probies for short – officially donned their stripes at a meal to honour all of Waltham’s unsung municipal employees, and had the opportunity to set fire to the probie tag that has long marked their hooks holding equipment at the fire hall.
Fire Chief Larry Perry said the “burning of the probies,” as he referred to the new ritual, was something he had been plotting for months, knowing it would bring the graduates great joy to rid themselves of the title. Though the four firefighters had graduated their firefighter one program a little while ago, this evening was their official recognition.


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