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Three in Rochester Fire Department promoted to captain

Craig Connelly, one of Rochester's newest fire department captains, smiles as his wife, Heather, and daughter Brenna, 10, put on his new lapel pins and badge during ceremonies at Rochester's City Hall on Wednesday. In the background and handing out the pins and badges is Rochester Fire Chief Greg Martin.

When he was a boy, David Beagle didn't tell his teachers he wanted to be a firefighter, even though his father was one. He wanted instead to be a construction worker.

That's changed, as evidenced by his comments after a ceremony on Wednesday to mark his and two others' promotions to captain in the Rochester Fire Department.

"Most people don't like to walk into a burning building. We get a charge out of it," Beagle said during a reception at the city-county Government Center.

He entered the Rochester Fire Department in 2000 after having worked in construction management and in farming. His father, Tom, is a retired Rochester firefighter.

Beagle noted the camaraderie in firefighting.


"It's a brotherhood, like in sports," he said. And, "The feeling of helping others really is a great satisfaction — when people are in the worst moments of their life, to be there and help, it's a great feeling."

The promotion of three department members to captain is part of a move to implement a sixth engine company — at downtown Fire Station One — to help meet a 6 percent increase in calls, said Fire Chief Greg Martin.

A total of five people were promoted Wednesday night:

• Beagle was promoted from motor operator to captain.

• Motor operator Craig Connelly, hired in 2004, was made a captain.

• Firefighter Brian Petersen, hired in 2005, was made a captain.

• Firefighter Jason Moritz, hired in 2004, was made a motor operator.

• Firefighter Joe Minnis, hired in 2000, was made a motor operator.

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