By Life Member James Delawder
December 30, 2021

On Wednesday December 29,2021 two events occurred for the first time in the 151 year history of the Brewster Fire Department (BFD). At the very beginning of a meeting of the Brewster Southeast Joint Fire District (BSEJFD), before any calls arrived, there was a swearing-in ceremony for the 2022 Chiefs. BSEJFD Commissioner Chairman John Klosowski, performed the ceremony. Can you determine what the two firsts were? There is at least one clue in the paragraph that follows.

The designation of Chiefs' by the Brewster Fire Department in the following manner has remainder consistent as long as the oldest living members remember. As of January 1st, Tom Giambattisto was sworn in as the new 11-1-1. The 1st Assistant Chief, Michael Miller designated as 11-1-2 was sworn in at the same time. He reports directly to the Chief and handles the situation if the Chief is unavailable.The 2nd Assistant Chief designated as 11-1-3 was sworn in as well. He reports to the Chief and the 1st Assistant Chief. If they are unavailable for any reason, he takes over. If they are around, he works with the Chief and the 1st Assistant Chief and follows their orders. Every 11-1-3 is frequently and affectionately referred to as "The Baby Chief". The name of 11-1-3 is Steven Miller. Yes, they are related. They are brothers. (Could this be the culmination of younger brother Michael's dreams to tell his older brother what to do?). Their father, Marty Miller, is also one of five BSEJFD Commissioners and was proud to witness the event.

Time for you to guess what the two firsts are.

First #1: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


First #2: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


NO CHEATING! Think for a couple of minutes and write down your answers.

No. This is NOT be the first time in the 151 years of the Brewster Volunteer Fire Department that two brothers have been Chief at the same time! There were two brothers, John Prisco and Lou Prisco who served as chiefs concurrently. John Prisco was Chief from 1957-58. Lou Prisco was Chief from 1951-52, 1954-55, 1958-60. That time period could be called "The Prisco Era." Could 2024 and beyond be called "Miller Time" ?

Do you want to make another guess?

Guess again? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Now for the answers:


Since the new, future 11-1-3 chief was ill at this time, he was sworn in by speaker and phone! This is without a doubt a first. On January 1,2022 at 12:01 AM , the phone Chief became a real Chief. If you cheated and looked at the pictures first you can see this in pictures #1, #2, #3 and #4.

A Second first unlikely to EVER be replicated in the BFD:

All three chiefs were members of the Brewster Fire Department EXPLORER Program.This program was an offshoot of the Boy Scouts Explorer Program It invited young high school aged students 13 to 18 years old to be taught fire skills. Senior members of the department imparted their knowledge to the Explorers. One of the these members was Phil McMurray Sr.. Explorers checked out trucks and performed "fire-ground" tasks in the fire house. One very important task included donning a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) frequently referred to as a Scott Pack. They would crawl around the darkened basement of the firehouse searching for dummies. That is not an easy task. Their masks could be blacked out while they circumvented obstacles. Another night they might be taught ladder skills or first aid essentials. This will probably be the first and only time this will occur. Insurance difficulties eliminated the program. Anybody sixteen year old or older can submit an application to become a probationary member.

I would like to thank John Klosowski of the BSEJFD for inviting me to the swearing-in ceremony. Information about the Explorer Program was provided by Phil McMurray Sr. in a recent interview.