Ms. Janine Romano has the distinction of being the first woman to serve on one of the oldest, most distinguished and highly respected fire departments in the state of Massachusetts and in the United States of America.
As if this were not enough of a responsibility, Ms. Romano, who is descended from an old Chelsea family, will be the subject of a lot of scrutiny from her colleagues because when you are the first in any endeavor, there are always those watching for your weaknesses.
In Ms. Romano it is likely they will find none.
She has passed all the tests with flying colors and will take her place on the force just like anyone else has taken their positions for the past 150 years.
She joins a fire department that has served with distinction in the life and times of this great city.
The Chelsea Fire Department also has the distinction of having served through two conflagrations, both of which nearly burned the city to the ground.
In this respect, the Chelsea Fire Department is unique beyond nearly all others because such great catastrophes almost never befall cities of our size twice in the same century.
Fires and fire fighting are taken as deadly serious business in this city.
Fire kills and has killed here dozens of times over the decades in recent history.
Chelsea firefighters are often called upon to do that which none of us in our right minds would attempt.
But that is the job, that and being first responders, which is what our firefighters are becoming more and more.
We wish Ms. Romano the best of luck in her new job as a Chelsea firefighter.
There is no doubt the pressure will be on her to perform – just as everyone else must perform.
And when the call comes in for firefighters to respond, she will engage immediately as she has been trained and respond to the best of her ability.
That’s the job. That is what is expected. This is what she will do.
Congratulations, Ms. Romano.