TOWNSEND -- Selectmen appointed two full-time firefighters Tuesday night, according to a statement issued by Local 4926.
Brothers Ben and Lee Niemiera have been call firefighters since September 2007. Ben Niemiera will start full time April 1, and Lee Niemiera will start July 1.
"This is a unique opportunity for two brothers to continue to serve their local community together," according to the statement. "Ben and Lee are extremely active members of the call department. Both work to progress their own knowledge of firefighting and their fellow brothers' knowledge of firefighting practices, too."
Ben Niemiera is president of the Firefighters Relief Association and advocates community service. He is a member of the Massachusetts Inter-Agency Wild Fire Crew and deployed to western states twice in the past year to combat wild fires.
Lee Niemiera is an active member of the Massachusetts Army National Guard at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas. He graduated from the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Fire Academy in Groton, then earned certification as an EMT with his brother, and is attending the Department of Defense Fire Fighting Academy.
Lee Niemiera was named the department's Firefighter of the Year for 2012 for his work and dedication to the community and department. He is on active duty but is scheduled to return home in June, said Capt. Michael Grimley, who is also secretary and treasurer for International Association of Fire
"It's an exciting opportunity for the department and these guys," Grimley said. "We are really looking forward to having them on board."
The department has two full-time firefighters as well as Grimley and Chief Donald Klein. There are about 65 call and per-diem firefighters and paramedics.
Full-time firefighter John Toumi left the department in December to take a similar position in Westford.
Full-time firefighter David Mazza is leaving to be a communication supervisor in the Police Department around April 1.
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