Three of Flagler County’s firefighters have been promoted to the rank of lieutenant after distinguishing themselves within their former roles, extensive education and training, and comprehensive testing.
Jake Gonzalez, Jon Moscowitz, and Dylan Pontorno were promoted out of the 13 applicants who tested.
“These are very deserving men,” said Fire Rescue Chief Mike Tucker. “It takes a lot of dedication to our profession to make it through the rigorous educational program and training developed to ensure firefighters are equipped to step up into supervisory roles.”
While the effective date of the promotions was July 23, a ceremony to recognize the promotions will likely be held on October 1.
Flagler County Fire Rescue has a two-year of firefighters interested in testing with the goal of being promoted to lieutenant. Positions open through natural attrition because of higher-ranking promotions and retirements.
“We had two battalion chiefs retire last December and two of our current lieutenants will be promoted into those positions in the near future,” Interim Deputy Chief Lenny Ensalaco said. “We have a great team, and it’s wonderful when the hard work it takes to prepare for this test can be rewarded with a promotion.”
That work includes: studying three text books inside and out; learning both firefighting command policy and Flagler County policy; and, practical tactical and supervisory experience.
“This can be done in as few as three years, but it’s not uncommon for the process to take much longer,” Ensalaco said. “It takes a lot of effort to prepare, so the length of time it takes depends on other external demands.”
Pontorno was hired by Flagler County in April 2018. He became a paramedic in January 2019, and has Fire Officer 1 and 2 certifications, as well as for Pump Operations.
Moscowitz has been with Flagler County Fire Rescue for 13 years. In the course of his career, he has worked as a Flight Medic, and lead Field Training Officer. He has competed on the Advanced Life Support Team locally, nationally, and internationally. His awards include: Kiwanis Firefighter of the Year in 2014 and 2020; Emergency Management Emergency Medical Services Provider of the Year in 2015; and, the Sons of the American Revolution Fire Safety commendation in 2016.
Gonzalez, a 7-year veteran with Flagler County Fire Rescue, not only has his Fire Officer 1 and 2 certifications but is Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) certified, is on the Technical Rescue Team, as well as being a Hazmat Technician, and a Fire Inspector.
“These new lieutenants have a variety of experiences that add depth to Flagler County Fire Rescue,” Tucker said. “They have bright futures ahead of them and I’m proud to have them as part of the team.”