DERRY — The Derry Fire Department honored its own with celebrations of service, longevity and commitment to serving others.

The department hosted a promotional ceremony Nov. 21 with fire officials welcoming new staff, promoting others, and honoring those who served many years on the force.

The third-floor meeting room at the municipal center was filled with family, friends, town officials and staff.

The ceremony began with the department honor guard filing in to bagpipe music provided by Derry Police Officer Seth Plumer.

Fire Chief Michael Gagnon then took the podium to welcome guests and said how much the annual ceremony means to him.

"This is our history," he said. "It's always a great event for the Derry Fire Department."

Gagnon individually recognized four department members with promotions, including Assistant Chief James Richardson, Battalion Chief Shawn Haggart, Capt. Ryan Bump and Lt. Thomas Beaumont.

Each took his place when called to the front of the room to take the oath and have their badges pinned on by family members.

Fire Department members who have retired were also honored and recognized.

Retired Assistant Chief Scott Jackson retired earlier this year after serving 33 years.

"It was an honor working with every one of you," Jackson said. "You are truly family."

Jackson went on to say he is lucky he retired healthy as many firefighters face battles with health and illness.

"And in my total of 33 years, I've never had a bad day here," he said.

Retirees received a plaque and special mounted ax, presented by the firefighters' union Local 4392.

Gagnon also recognized new members of the department who took the oath an received their badge.

The chief ended the ceremony, saying no one in the department does the job alone.

"Nobody gets here alone," Gagnon said. "They do it with the support of their families.

Gagnon said it's special to honor those beginning their fire careers, while promoting other longtime staff and honoring those that put in so many years of service.

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