Fire Department adds two new women

First woman and Cuban-American make Captain and make history

The Bayonne Fire Department promoted Firefighters Cailin Brodel and Raccys Pozo to the rank of Captain at a ceremony in the City Council Chambers on Dec. 16.

Brodel is the first female member of the BFD and the first to hold the rank of Captain. Pozo is the first Cuban-American to achieve that rank.

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Historic diversity

Speaking at the ceremony, Fire Chief Keith Weaver said it was “an historic day in the Fire Department.” Weaver explained that the promotions were “based on merit,” coming from competitive Civil Service tests.

He said that captains normally have eight to ten years of service when they assume that rank. Captains Brodel and Pozo achieved the rank within six and seven years, respectively.

Mayor James Davis congratulated both new captains, saying, “All of us are proud.” He said that the Fire Department “is in great hands.”

City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski called the new captains “great firefighters.” She said that they would not rest on their past accomplishments, but would move onto “more challenges” in the years ahead.

Public Safety Director Robert Kubert called the ceremony “a momentous occasion.” He cited the new captains’ academic excellence and their “job performance, professionalism, and dedication.”

Addressing the new captains, Deputy Chief William Bartos said, “You have excelled,” noting that Captains Brodel and Pozo “are in the right job at the right time.”

Captain Pozo was appointed to the BFD on April 8, 2013. Captain Brodel was appointed on August 18, 2014, becoming the first female firefighter in the city.

Both new captains have certifications in Haz Mat Tech, Structural Collapse Tech, Trench Rescue Tech, Rope Rescue Operations, and Confined Space Operations.

Weaver added that the department was making history in a second way this week. For the first time ever, two females are in the newest crop of firefighters.

Sixteen new firefighters joined the Bayonne Fire Department in an induction ceremony at the fire station at MOTBY.

New recruits

On Dec. 16, the department held an induction ceremony
for 16 new firefighters at the Peninsula Fire House at the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne (MOTBY).

It was the first class of new recruits in the department’s history with two women: Maria Del Carmen Guzman and Olivia Whitney.

Weaver said that a ceremony for new firefighters is “always a great day.” He stressed that becoming a firefighter “is no easy task,” because candidates are “testing against hundreds of others” on the Civil Service exam.

Weaver urged the new recruits to “continue to learn every day.” He said that they have “an opportunity to make a difference in our community.”

Davis said that the new firefighters would “forever remember” their ceremony, which took place outside in the snow, due to COVID-19. He thanked them for their “dedication,” and said that they are now “professional firefighters.”

Ashe-Nadrowski told the new recruits, “We are lucky to have you.” She said that they have joined a fire department that is “second to none.”

The new firefighters are Joseph Coughlin, Anthony Duran, Kyle Martinez, Joseph Smith, Michael Lojewski, Dylan Wasielewski, Nicholas Leyva, Joseph Bunin, Brian Olsen, Tyler Hubeny, Brandon Kuhl, Dean Raslowsky, Peter Jiminez, Michael Troglio, as well as Guzman and Whitney.

For updates on this and other stories, check and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at

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