Oath of office a family affair for Fairfield firefighters, police officers

Every oath of office taken by a Fairfield firefighter or police officer is a family affair.

This past Monday, firefighters Daniel Korte and Jason Taulbee took their oath of office as they were promoted to lieutenant, and by their sides were their wives, Sarah Korte and Jennifer Taulbee.

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“Individuals entering the police and fire service need the support of their family because often we can’t leave our job at the firehouse or police station, and often times the stresses of the job are carried home,” said Fairfield Fire Chief Don Bennett. “The family really plays a major role in the success of the officer and firefighter.”

Including family in the oath of office ceremony, complete with having the spouse or other family member pin the badge on the newly hired or promoted individual, is a symbolic act that started “years ago,” Bennett said.

In a way, the ceremony marries the family of the newly hired — and renews those vows in the case of those being promoted — with Fairfield’s police and fire families.

“Careers in police and fire require you to work long hours, weekends and holidays, and involving the family in work gives you the opportunity to spend some time with your family when you’re not necessarily at home,” Fairfield Police Chief Steve Maynard said.

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Family becomes especially important as the pressures of a career in fire or police service mount, he said.

“You have to rely heavily on your family to deal with a lot of the stress that’s involved with the incidents you’re involved in with safety services,” Maynard said. “Family is extremely important.”

Korte and Taulbee’s swearing-in was the first of two this month. Earlier this month, newly hired Fairfield police officer Derrick Adkins had his badge pinned on by his grandmother, Mary, with his father, Kevin, and grandfather, Fred, by his side.

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