The Brothers on Watkins Street give a heartfelt congratulations to Lt Billy Kirkham and Lt. Abe Englard. During these tough times the department held closed promotions at the Rock, the ceremony was brief but after it was smiles for these newly minted Lieutenants.
Billy Kirkham served on Watkins Street for 17 years, out of proby school Bill was assigned to E231, he quickly learned the job from some of the best bosses and fireman around. “Buffalo” Joe Gajewski was a proby just before Billy got to the firehouse, he helped guide him through the ins and outs of the firehouse. Some of his mentors on the fireground were Captain Higgins, Captain Calamari, Mike Palifrone, Mike Laffan, Al Guaracio, and Billy “Poppy” McLuaghlin. As you can see Billy was in great hands. After 7 years and quite a few fires Billy transferred across the floor where his dedication and passion for the job made him quickly an asset, respected and looked up to by all of his peers. Billy or more affectionately known as “Americas Chauffeur” built a reputation to get creative with the tower ladder positioning and pull up first due at usually extra truck boxes. Billy Kirkham embodies everything that Watkins Street stood for and will sorely be missed.
Abe Englard came to Watkins Street with 7 years on, originally being assigned to Engine 266 in Queens. Abe worked closely with Watkins Street alumni Lt Eric Schmanski and Capt Liotta. When Abe came to Watkins Street he first went to Engine 231 he was very eager and was very knowledgeable in Engine operations and was a very capable chauffeur. After a few years Abe crossed the floor and started the next chapter in his career as a firefighter in Tower Ladder 120. Abe was always excited to come to work, eager to pick up tours, and always available to work overtime whenever the company was short. Abe definitely has a passion for the fire service and will be an asset to wherever he calls home as a Lieutenant.
Congratulations fellas, you earned it. Good luck and you will be missed.
“The Tradition Continues…