A trio of firefighters and two police officers were sworn in at the Homewood village board meeting Jan. 14.
Richard Qualter, Edgar Serna and Tom Schlesinger were hired on Dec. 6 as full-time firefighters/paramedics.
Brian Krueger and Andy Gasbarro were hired as full-time police officers on Jan. 6.
Serna graduated from Sandburg High School and attended nursing school before changing his path toward emergency management services. He complete paramedic training at Ingalls Hospital and was hired for a part-time position by Homewood Fire Department in 2016 and full-time in Alsip last year.
Schlesinger is from Skokie and graduated from Niles West High School. He completed EMT training at Robert Morris College and paramedic training at Lutheran General Hospital. He’s worked as a contract paramedic for Melrose Park and Cicero fire departments. Schlesinger attended the Romeoville fire academy in 2018.
Qualter went to St. Rita High School and worked for the Evergreen Park Fire Department after graduating. He was certified as an EMT and paramedic with that department. He worked for the New Lenox Fire Department as a contract paramedic.
All three were working for Homewood part-time.
The fire department received a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the fall. The grant reimburses the village for base salaries and associated benefits during the first three years of the new hires’ employment, totaling $537,517.
The new police hires are attending the 15-week basic police recruit training course at the Cook County Sheriff's Police Training Academy, from which they’re expected to graduate on April 26. They’ll then begin the 15-week Homewood police department field training program.
Krueger graduated from Lyons Township High School in 2013 and earned a degree in criminology from Florida State University in 2017. He serves as a 1st Lieutenant in the 345th Military Police Company of the U.S. Army Reserves in Ames, Iowa.
Gasbarro graduated from Marian Catholic high school in 2013 before attending the University of Illinois, where he earned a degree in liberal arts and sciences in 2018.
LaShawna Cook also took the oath of office Tuesday as a utility clerk in the Finance Department. Cook previously worked for Country Club Hills and has an associate’s degree from South Suburban College.
The utility clerk handles water and sewer service bills and billing records.