Mayor To Swear In Fire Personnel

From Bill Kaempffer, Fire Department spokesman:

Mayor Bill Finch will swear in 11 new Fire Department lieutenants and pumper engineers on Tuesday (tonight) in Council Chambers.

“It’s is always a proud moment when I swear in hard-working first responders,” said Mayor Finch. “I know how hard they worked to achieve this. It is always a good day when people climb their career ladder.”

The Fire Department also currently has 11 fire recruits at the Connecticut Fire Academy. Seven are Bridgeport residents.

“This is a talented, driven group,” said Fire Chief Brian Rooney. “They dedicated themselves to studying for these exams and earned these promotions. I have no doubt they will excel in their new positions.”

WHAT: Fire Department Promotional Ceremony

WHERE: Council Chambers in City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 at 6 p.m.

There is a significant milestone being achieved by Firefighter Sheilyan Vega. She is the first ever Latina firefighter to place first on a promotional exam at the Fire Department and will be the first Latina female to serve as a pumper engineer in the history of the Bridgeport Fire Department.

Until recently, she worked on Engine 10 in the East Side, just blocks away from where she grew up and as a young child watched Bridgeport firefighters do their jobs.

“I wanted so badly to come to 10s. I grew up in this neighborhood,” she said, recalling her childhood. “If only for a year, I wanted to be that face for a little girl, wave to them, let them put on the helmet, let them know that this is a career they can pursue if they want to.”

Bring promoted are:

Lt. William Boroskey

Lt. Marcus Dierna

Lt. Jeffrey Gdovin

Lt. Joseph Kirkland

Lt. Joseph Lachioma

Lt. Louis Santiago

PE Erwin Ayala

PE Charles Deer

PE Frank Perugini

PE Sheilyan Vega

PE James Zavodjancik



  1. Lennie, could you define Latina so we could investigate if she is really the first of these peoples to get this position? I would have been proud of her being the first woman to achieve this position. Have any colored women held the position?

  2. Hector, really. A Colored Woman. As a point of clarity, black folks haven’t been colored in over 50 years. Get your head out of your ass and come into the 21st century.
    Debra Ramos was the first female engineer although she was white and married to a Puerto Rican. Ismael Pomales was the first Puerto Rican to place first on a promotional exam when he became a Battalion Chief. Lisa Anderson who is black was the first woman lieutenant on the BFD.

  3. Donald, it is my wish people will see Latino is no different from colored, a derogatory description. I am surprised you admit at one time in the past you were “colored” for I have NEVER been “Latino.” You must not know me or you wouldn’t even have addressed my comment.

    1. Yeah Hector, the only ones who understand it are racists like you. What’s the matter, there are not enough problems out there that you have to invent one? Hector, it’s pure and utter bullshit.

  4. *** Is it possible a person of “color” has any other skin pigmentation color other than “white” as well as different physical body features? And what word in the English dictionary would be fitting to describe all people of “Spanish” decent, etc.? *** Congrats to all the Promotion Personnel ***

    1. Mojo? That’s the problem, what makes you think we need a word from the “English” dictionary to describe us. We/I am Puerto Rican and we/I have a proud and distinguished history. If we get together one day and decide for ourselves then so be it, but to allow someone who has less than love for you to name you IS A HUGE ISSUE. Leaders from our community who allow this are worse than those who use it. Who else do you ask permission to be you, sir?

  5. *** Okay, a Spanish dictionary then, or French! Also, I’m not referring to a group’s ethnic background or the country they’re from. I’m referring to a large mass of people from all around the world who share in the speaking of the Spanish language and in some of their Spanish ways. ***

    1. *** Still waiting for a reply on what “word or name” would be proper in describing mass people of Spanish decent, language and similar taste in food and music as well as religion. Hispanic, Latino, Spanish Blood, etc. Examples of other large groups would be Oriental, European, American Indians, Eastern Indians, African Americans, Arabs, etc. “NOT ETHNICITY” or “ETHNIC GROUP!” ***

  6. Mr. Diaz, as I write this there is a program on TV called “Latino Americans.” Therefore it seems to me no one takes offense to the term “Latino.” Why is it you are so adverse to the term?

    1. Godiva? It’s supposed to be okay because it’s on TV? My offense to the description comes from being taught from an early age the value of how you are addressed. When you are giving a name by someone who loves you, Mother, family, friends etc., but the names given you by any other are usually suspect. When they derive from only a description and not from anything actual, it’s worse.

  7. Okay, enough of the fairy tale, we know you worked in the Mayor’s office and have been coddled ever since.

    Why did it take six years before she was taught how to hook up to a hydrant and pump water? I’d say a lack of leadership from top to bottom.

  8. I read the article in the Connecticut Post by Keila Torres Ocasio as well as the article on OIB about Sheilyan Vega, a Puerto Rican woman who passed the promotional exam for pumper engineer for the Bridgeport Fire Department. In both of these articles they seem to insinuate Sheilyan is some kind of hero to young girls who aspire to be a Bridgeport firefighter. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    In March of 2010, myself, Ron Mackey and Firebird president Joel Christy met with Mayor Finch, David Dunn and Chief Brian Rooney about the entry level exam and Bridgeport’s use of CPAT (Candidates Physical Agility Testing) for new hires for the first time in history. We told them and gave them data from cities across the country that used CPAT and couldn’t get women to pass and how CPAT would virtually eliminate women from the possibility of being firefighters in Bridgeport. Sheilyan at this meeting told those in attendance she believed women should take this exam and the City of Bridgeport should go forward with this requirement and it would make for a better department.

    The City of Bridgeport took her recommendation on using CPAT and for the first time in 25 years no women were hired for the BFD. The fact is Sheilyan never had to take CPAT when she took the firefighters exam and she took CPAT three years after she was on the job and failed after training for several months. Sheilyan goes on to say “I wanted these little girls to see me and say, ‘You know, it can be done.'” What she should have told those young girls is under my recommendation your chances of being a firefighter in Bridgeport are virtually non-existent.

    Being a retired Bridgeport firefighter who has passed three promotional exams I know of the hard work and due diligence it takes to pass an exam so by all means she should be proud of her accomplishment, but as a role model for future women, she’s a disgrace. Sheilyan not only assisted in closing the door on future women who aspire to follow in her career path, but she locked and dead-bolted the door. There is a place for women in the fire service and a lot of effort by The Firebird Society to assist women in passing the fire department exams has fallen by the wayside because Sheilyan thinks she is better than those who follow her. Sheilyan, continue to smile and wave every time you see a young girl while riding on the apparatus, but because of your recommendation, after you retire young girls will have very few other role models left in the Bridgeport Fire Department to look up to. Congratulations on passing the exam, but as a role model, you’re not! Good job, Sheilyan!

  9. Well said, Donald, “It’s all in the math” according to Sheilyan. As you very well know there are those who believe they got what they got on their own. Forgetting there were battles fought for the benefit of those not even known. Sheilyan also benefited from the residency point system that Rooney opposed. Sadly, she is not alone, though. Countless others have drunk the Kool-Aid.

    I wonder what her thoughts are on her sister firefighter who has been denied her pay by Rooney because of her pregnancy. Did Rooney ask her opinion on that as well?

    No hero here, she should ask for forgiveness for setting back the hard work done for years to come. She doesn’t know as much as she thinks.

  10. *** When one does not share the same opinions or self-knowledge as others, are they to be considered inferior or less than, and by whose account? *** FOR ALL ONE CLAIMS TO KNOW, THERE IS LITTLE THEY UNDERSTAND! ***


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