BOSTON (CBS) — It was a day of recognition and promotions at the Lawrence Fire Department swearing-in ceremony. Ten fire cadets took the oath and were sworn in as new firefighters Sunday.

The Lawrence Fire Department welcomed ten new members Sunday (WBZ-TV)

“Firefighters really play a crucial role when there is havoc and chaos,” Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera said. Dozens of residents and family members packed the hall to witness the special ceremony.

Last September, the city was rocked by the Columbia Gas explosions and fires. More than 100 homes were damaged or destroyed in Merrimack Valley and thousands were without heat and hot water for months. “In this instance, when we had all those fires, all those structure fires, all those small fires in places we didn’t even know, people calling in from all over the place for help,” Rivera said.

Lawrence Fire Department recruits embrace loved ones after they are officially sworn-in Sunday (WBZ-TV)

Lawrence Fire Chief Ryan Moriarty said all these new faces is greatly needed. “This has been a great ending to a terrible last four or five months. We are still responding to many calls and we are out there to help the citizens. We want to keep them safe,” he added.

The department also promoted three new captains and two new lieutenants. Moriarty said the department had some recent retirements so the timing of new leadership is critical.

“I think it’s just a great day for the fire department and the city of Lawrence,” said Rivera.

Paul Burton

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