For many firefighters, the love of the job is shared through generations.
At New Haven’s fire academy, two cadets have taken that to a different level where a father and son are going through the academy at the same time.
"My father was a firefighter, I joined when I was 16. When I retired from New Britain, I joined the volunteers in Newington again,” said Eric Giansanti, who is going through the fire academy with his son Nicholas Giansanti.
"Being a firefighter was the dream,” Nicholas said.
At 50, Eric Giansanti is the oldest recruit at the academy. He retired in 2008 after more than 21 years with the New Britain Fire Department.
He said he missed it and when Nicholas Giansanti told him New Haven was hiring, he talked it over with his wife and decided to get back into it.
“It’s almost like I'm learning all over again, a lot of the new stuff,” Eric Giansanti said.
"To have a father and son in the same recruit class, different stages of their life, yeah it’s pretty unusual,” said New Haven Assistant Fire Chief Matt Marcarelli.
While Eric Giansanti may have more than 20 years of experience, to the drill instructors it doesn’t matter.
He gets put through the same paces like everyone else.
"When he comes into this academy we teach him the way we do things, we tell them, forget everything you've learned in the past, you're going to learn the New Haven way,” Marcarelli said.
Since late July, it has been hours of drills and training, along with class work for more than 40 cadets.
"It’s been a long time since I studied. He and I study together. Hands on I can help him, studying, bookwork, he helps me,” Eric Giansanti said.
The academy class will go into November, then the class will test, get sworn in at graduation and then head off to the firehouse.
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