MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - On June 24, members of the community, family and friends gathered at the Central Park Pavilion to officially promote five members of the Meridian Township Fire Department. The sixth member, Lieutenant Chris Johnson, was unable to attend, but was still celebrated.
After having to postpone the ceremony for a year due to COVID-19, those in attendance were excited to finally celebrate the promotions.
Fire Chief Mike Hamel explained how the ceremony operates.
"We are swearing in five officers, so the process is when someone gets a promotion to a higher position on the fire department, we do a promotional process and then we swear them in with the township clerk," Hamel said. "And they have to sign their life away and tell us that they're going to do their job and perform at the best of their ability being in the leadership role now."
The officers promoted were:
- Rudy Gonzales from Lieutenant to Captain
- Ryan Campbell from Lieutenant to Captain
- Jason Hillard from Firefighter to Lieutenant
- Chris Johnson from Firefighter to Lieutenant
- TJ Booms from Firefighter to Lieutenant
- Tavis Millerov from Fire Inspector to Fire Marshal
For the newly promoted captains, the promotion process was not so easy, said Captain Rudy Gonzalez.
"We had to do an oral interview through Zoom," Gonzalez said. "We had to do a project, we had to do testing."
After the long promotional process for some and an even longer wait, the five officers were promoted and able to serve Meridian Township in new roles.
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