Beloved Mass. fire lieutenant retires after 30 years
"John Cosmo is the cream of the crop and a true gentleman in every respect," said former Hyannis Fire Department Chief Harold Brunelle,
By Geoff Spillane
Cape Cod Times
HYANNIS, Mass. — A popular and beloved member of the Hyannis Fire Department has retired after nearly three decades of service.
Lt. John Cosmo, who joined the department in 1991, was honored by friends and colleagues during an open house at the Hyannis fire station on Thursday. Before Hyannis, Cosmo worked as a firefighter in Fairhaven for four years.
"John Cosmo is the cream of the crop and a true gentleman in every respect," said former Hyannis Fire Department Chief Harold Brunelle, who retired last year. "He's the type of person you could always count on to do the right thing."
Reflecting on his years in Hyannis, Cosmo, 54, said he has seen many changes in the village.
"Changes in society have affected the fire department," he said.
Specifically, Cosmo cited increased calls for medical aid, including substance abuse and traffic accidents where minor injuries are reported simply for potential lawsuit activity.
"I've seen father and son overdoses," he said.
He has also seen Hyannis grow to the point of near build-out, with more traffic -- especially headed to the island ferries -- and commerce.
"You can't put too much more in these 9.5 square miles," Cosmo said.
The best memories of his time in Hyannis are just coming to work every day, Cosmo said.
The worst was an incident three years ago today when he was the first to arrive at a shed fire where an 8-year-old boy died.
"I was there with the mother," he said.
In retirement, Cosmo is looking forward to getting out in the fresh air, traveling and helping his parents.
"He will be sorely missed," Hyannis Fire Chief Peter Burke said. "He's a reliable fire prevention officer that others have come to rely upon."
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