The Margate City Fire Department swore in two firefighters at the Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday, July 19 bringing department staffing to 34 full-time firefighters, Chief Dan Adams said.
Christopher Fantazzia, 22, of Margate, and Hunter Pizagno, 21, also of Margate, took their oaths of office surrounded by family members. Several firefighters who attended the meeting in support of the new officers left the ceremony to respond to a call of a medical emergency.
Both firefighters grew up in Margate and “came up through the ranks” as volunteer firefighters in Longport, Adams said.
“They were trained through the Longport Volunteer Fire Department and are both certified emergency medical technicians,” he said.
Both will continue their volunteer service in Longport, Adams said.
Fantazzia and Pizagno replace two firefighters who retired on July 1, Adams said.
Firefighter Chris Baumgartel retired after 31 years of service and Firefighter Ed “Bucky” Woltmann retired with 27 years of service. Both were fire investigators, however, the department already has a third investigator on staff, Adams said.
The department has four eight-person shifts, three of which are fully staffed. When a firefighter currently in training is sworn-in, it will bring the fourth shift to full staff, Adams said.
The department’s highest staffing level was 36 full-time officers, Adams said.
Commissioner of Public Safety John Amodeo administered the oaths of office, stating the city was proud to offer lifesaving positions to young city residents.
“We come under Civil Service regulations in Margate. We are very proud we get to appoint Margate kids that grew up in our community to positions in our Police and Fire departments,” he said.
Amodeo said the new police contract approved in spring offered an early retirement incentive to firefighters on staff “so that we can get the kids on the list to become our next generation of firefighters.”