Three New London firefighters get promotions

New London — Newly minted fire Chief Thomas Curcio promoted three veteran fire firefighters to leadership positions Wednesday at a ceremony attended by friends, family and coworkers.

Lt. Jeff Rheaume and Lt. Mark Waters were promoted to the rank of battalion chief, filling two of the four battalion chief positions left open when Curcio was promoted and Battalion Chief Edward “Ted” Sargent retired earlier this year.

Firefighter John Telford was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on Wednesday.

Rheaume and Waters both joined the department in 1996 and coincidentally were promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2007.

Rheaume started his career as a volunteer firefighter at the Jordan Volunteer Fire Department in Waterford. His father, Alan Rheaume, had served as chief at the Oswegatchie Fire Department, also in Waterford.

Rheaume has served as a paid firefighter at the Submarine Base Fire Department. He has a bachelor of arts and professional studies from Mitchell College and an associate degree in fire technology and administration from Three Rivers Community College. He also has attended the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Leadership and Management School. He is one of the city's deputy emergency management directors.

He has been awarded numerous citations throughout his career, one for a 2002 incident in which he was forced to jump head first from a burning building where he was searching for two trapped occupants.

Prior to his career in New London, Waters was a volunteer with the Oakdale Fire Department and a paid firefighter in Montville. He also was a member of the Urban Search and Rescue Team and an emergency dispatcher in Groton.

Waters has earned an associate degree in fire technology and administration as well as bachelor's and master's degrees in science. He is a certified state fire marshal and a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Officer Program.

Locally, Waters played a key role in assisting the city's grant writer in obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds for equipment and training at the department.

His numerous citations include recognition for the successful resuscitation of an 8-year-old and a confined-space rescue from the hull of a fishing boat in 2012.

Telford is a former member of the Goshen Fire Department in Waterford and was hired by the department in 2008. He has bachelor's degrees in both fire administration and arson investigation from the University of New Haven and is a state certified fire officer and fire service instructor. He also is a bagpiper for the New London Firefighters Pipes and Drums Band.

Telford has earned unit citations, including one for his role in the rescue of trapped occupants in a fully involved fire in 2015.

g.smith@theday.com

Editor's Note: This version corrects Lt. Mark Waters's name.

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