NLFD promotes three

New London – Three veteran city firefighters will be promoted during a Feb. 1 ceremony, the mayor's office announced Tuesday.

Edward Sargent, a veteran with nearly 24 years on the job, was promoted to battalion chief. Sargent, who was promoted to lieutenant in October 2007, has received numerous unit citations and commendations throughout his career, according to a news release. He will become one of four battalion chiefs in the department. The position had been vacant since March, when Henry Kydd was promoted to deputy chief.

To be promoted to lieutenant are Joe Hancock and Rocco Basilica, the release says. Both men began their careers in the summer of 1996 and have received multiple unit citations from the department. In 2000, Basilica, the current fire union president, was named "Firefighter of the Year" by the VFW.

Basilica will not have to relinquish his union position because all firefighter positions but the chief and deputy chief are unionized.

The promotions will reduce overtime costs in the current and future budgets, Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio said in a phone call Tuesday.

"It's a win-win," he said. "I'm very confident the individuals selected are up to the task."

The promotion ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Feb. 1 in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.

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