Three Dearborn residents were sworn in recently as firefighters with the Dearborn Fire Deparment.
The city celebrated the hirings as an example of the success of the city's Cadet Program, and as a contrast recent allegations that the city is discriminatory toward hiring residents for police, fire and city positions–a claim being explored by the Congress of Arab American Organizations.
Probationary Firefighter and lifelong Dearborn resident Matthew Bajjey, 25, is the third generation of Bajjeys to join the department.
A Fordson High School graduate, he became part of the Dearborn Fire Department Cadet Program.
He attended Schoolcraft College Fire Academy and the Michigan Academy of Emergency Services. He earned certificates or licenses in Firefighting I and II, Hazardous Materials Operations and Awareness, and EMT and Paramedic training.
Probationary Firefighter and Edsel Ford graduate Timothy Duda, 21, also is a lifelong Dearborn resident who always aspired to be a Dearborn firefighter. He took steps to fulfill his ambitions through participation in the Cadet Program.
Duda earned an associate’s degree in the Firefighting/Paramedic program at Henry Ford Community College and achieved Firefighter I and II certifications from Oakland Community College. He has also worked for a private EMS firm as a paramedic.
Probationary Firefighter and Dearborn resident Matthew Allen Ferrell, 26, volunteered with the Cadet Program for more than five years and is following in the footsteps of his brother Adam, who is also a Dearborn firefighter.
He earned certifications or licenses in Firefighting I and II, Hazmat I and II and as an EMT/paramedic.
The three join two other Cadet Program graduates hired by the Fire Department in August 2010.
In the police department, four graduates from Fordson and Edsel Ford are active in the internship program, which began in July 2010. Another two local students will start as unpaid interns in the fall.
The city suggested this week that allegations made were based on generalized concerns.
"While Mayor O’Reilly is willing to meet with representatives from CAAO and ADC to discuss any specific concerns," a release from the city read, "he cautions against the practice of making highly-charged allegations, then seeking evidence afterwards to support them."