Fire District 1 celebrates members old and new

Jul 10, 2019

Dartmouth’s District 1 Fire Department welcomed their three newest members as fully-fledged firefighters and honored Matt Smith, who saved a man from drowning in Padanaram harbor in June, at a celebratory cookout on July 10.

Smith managed to rescue a boater who had fallen into the water at Padanaram last month.

The man had gone underwater, but was ultimately saved.

Acting Fire Chief Jake Bettencourt noted as he handed out the “Life Saving Award” that Smith’s father was Captain Gerald Smith, a member of the fire department for whom the fire boat was named at a dedication two years ago.

“How ironic we’ve never been able to get Matt Smith on the department,” Bettencourt said.

“I am an average Joe in a room full of folks who are trained life savers,” said Smith during the ceremony. 

“This was a moment where I just happened to be there, and it worked out well. I did speak to the guy, and he’s doing just fine.”

New firefighters Cody Cabral, Chris Cunha, and Bailey Oliveira just graduated from a 16-week course at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy to become certified firefighters.

They were given $1,000 stipends and black helmets to replace their yellow probationary ones.

The District 1 Prudential Committee was there to hand out the stipends and congratulate the new graduates.

“It’s awesome,” said Cabral. “It definitely feels awesome being part of the whole team, and the family. My dad’s been here for 19 years, so I’ve been coming here since I could walk.”

“It was a cool journey,” Cunha said. “Everyone’s been super supportive, and it feels great to be part of the community.”

The department also awarded its members for their years of service with plaques and pins for their uniforms.

Bettencourt handed out pins to Peter Lantz and Joshua Jesus for five and ten years of service, respectively, as well as plaques to Mark Noseworthy (15 years), Paul Galego (20 years), and Cliff Silveira (35 years). 

Stephen Howland and Antone Andrade were not able to make it to the ceremony to receive their 25-year plaques, but Bettencourt spoke about their service and said they would be given the awards later.