By TYLER MCCARTHY Special to The Day
Publication: The Day
Norwich - In a ceremony at fire headquarters Friday afternoon, firefighters Joseph Hebert and Michael Dziavit rose in the ranks, Hebert to captain and Dziavit to lieutenant.
About 30 friends, family members and firefighters filled the room to watch as the two men accepted their promotions and to honor their service.
Fire Chief Kenneth Scandariato presided. He congratulated the men on their professional excellence and their work ethic as two of "Norwich's finest."
"They have demonstrated the requirements of this position already," Scandariato said. "They have taken a personal interest in teaching some of our younger firefighters. This is the mark of true leadership."
Dziavit, a 10-year veteran of the department, had his badge pinned to his uniform by his wife, Killeen Dziavit with help from his son, Clark, 4, and daughter, Alice, 2. Dziavit thanked his fellow firefighters and his wife, whom he called his rock, and his two children for reminding him "how much fun it is to be a kid."
Dziavit is excited to begin his new position but thinks of the changes as bittersweet.
"Just recently, one of the firefighters on my shift, Ben De Mond, passed away. I'm excited to take on the job but disappointed to leave that shift after his passing," Dziavit said. De Mond died in a multivehicle car accident on Interstate 395 in March.
Valerie Cassiday pinned on the new captain's badge for her husband, Joseph Hebert. Hebert thanked the firefighters with whom he had served during his 22 years with the force.
"I want to thank the City of Norwich Fire Department. This place has a rich history of those who started it years ago and those who continue to work with this department. I want to thank them all for their knowledge and professionalism," said Hebert, later referring to Norwich as "the best department in the world."
Hebert said he also is excited about the extra responsibilities of his new position, which include the safety and training of new firefighters.
"I love my job," he said. "I love doing the training and I love the Norwich Fire Department, I've always loved the Norwich Fire Department. I grew up here and I knew that I wanted to work right here ever since I was a kid watching Johnny and Roy on 'Emergency!'."