On Friday afternoon, the Edgartown Fire Department promoted five of its members in the first official department ceremony since before the pandemic.

Friends, family and members of the Island emergency services community gathered before the historic Edgartown Fire Museum for the brief ceremony.

Fire Chief Alex J. Schaeffer praised the “dedication” and “sacrifice” of the members being promoted.

“These men and women here bring experience, knowledge, and devotion [to the department],” Chief Schaeffer said.

The promoted members and their positions are: Josh Baker to assistant chief, Kara Shemeth to captain, Thomas Ignacio to lieutenant, Brian Foster to lieutenant, and Jovany Naverette to lieutenant.

Former assistant chief Geoff Freeman recently stepped down from his position after more than two decades with the department. Chief Schaeffer praised his dedication and thanked him for staying involved with the department in a new, more limited capacity, keeping his institutional knowledge alive and available.

After a few recent departures, Chief Schaeffer was glad to host such a large promotion.

“It shows that there’s a lot of forward momentum within the department,” he told the Gazette. “We’re fortunate to have people in the right places to step up and fill roles.”