By Tim McCarthy
Haverhill's Fire Department and the City of Haverhill welcomed six new firefighters, ranging from trainees to experienced jakes, to the force officially last Thursday with a brief swearing-in ceremony at the mayor's office.
"We're very proud as a city to swear you all in," Mayor James Fiorentini said.
Of the hires, two are new recruits off the state's civil service hire list while four were drawn from the pool of laid-off Lawrence firefighters.
"Lawrence's loss is our gain," Fire Chief Richard Borden said. "It really is good having you aboard."
City Councilor and Public Safety Committee Chairman David Hall was present to welcome the new firefighters as well.
"I'm so happy to know we got six brand new guys with us," he said.
Firefighters Jim Driscoll, Joseph Carberry, Michael Swarbick and Tim Boutin had previously worked in Lawrence.
The city hired the new recruits, Keith Baldwin and Corey Willis, last spring but chose to swear them in along the more recent additions. They expect to head to the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in Stow sometime in January.
Willis, a veteran of the Iraq War and currently in the reserves, said he was looking forward to continuing to help people at home as he did abroad.
"I protected and served in the military, and want to do it on the homefront," he said.
Willis has lived in Haverhill since 1998.
He added that he's looking forward to working alongside the other Haverhill jakes.
"You couldn't ask for a better group of guys," he said.
Baldwin is a lifelong resident of Haverhill as well and served in the National Guard.
Chief Borden said he expects training for the former Lawrence firefighters to take around two weeks to acquaint them with different equipment and department policies.