EJ Adametz ’17 is a firefighter in Waterbury. His journey from high school to his career is a testament to part of the core values that he learned at Xavier. He believes that the values of giving back to others and being a family are crucial in the fire service, and Xavier instilled these values in him.
EJ recalls how he learned to show respect and be courteous to others from his teachers and administrators at Xavier. He carries these values with him every shift at work, where he and his fellow firefighters are called upon to help someone who may be having the worst day of their life. EJ emphasizes the importance of discipline, which he learned in the classroom at Xavier, in helping him stay focused during his recruit firefighter training.
EJ's interest in being a firefighter began at a young age, as he grew up around his father and his friends who were volunteer firefighters in Haddam. At the age of 15, he joined the junior fire company in Haddam and instantly fell in love. He took advantage of as many training opportunities as possible to gain knowledge and experience and realized how much he enjoyed helping others. Ultimately, he had the desire to work in a larger town or city where he would get the chance to experience the job on a larger scale. After several years of testing, he landed his dream job in the City of Waterbury in 2020.
One of EJ's favorite parts of being a firefighter is that no 24-hour shift is ever the same. Every call him and his fellow firefighters respond to is different; every shift offers a chance to see something new. He considers each shift another opportunity to train and better himself along with his skills. The camaraderie amongst firefighters is something that EJ enjoys, much like the brotherhood that he experienced at Xavier.
EJ is part of the only rescue company in Waterbury and, because of that, all the firefighters hold a higher level of training. This allows him to train in a variety of disciplines including rope rescue, hazardous materials responses, and light/heavy vehicle extrication. He never knows what he is going to be up against on any given call, so the unknown offers a slight adrenaline rush.
EJ is a strong supporter of Xavier because it is a place where, if you put your mind to something and have goals, you can achieve anything. The hallways and classrooms are full of people who will support you every step of the way. He truly believes that if you give 100%, you will get 100% out of Xavier. During his time at the school, EJ gave his all and achieved his goals. Some of his fondest memories of Xavier include Dr. DiCapua's biology class. “Dr. DiCapua was one of his favorite teachers, always finding ways to keep his classes interesting and entertaining.” EJ recalled a particularly funny moment in class when Dr. DiCapua was teaching the students about cells and wanted to demonstrate "cells becoming excited" by hopping around the classroom.
Another favorite memory of EJ's from Xavier concerns the countless Friday nights spent watching Xavier High School football games. Having grown up going to games with his dad, it was always a dream of his to go as a student and be part of the Black Hole. The sense of community and school spirit at Xavier is something that EJ will always cherish.
EJ's journey from Xavier to his career as a firefighter is a testament to the values and discipline instilled in him at our high school. Xavier provided EJ with the skills and support he needed to achieve his goals, and he is proud to be a part of the Xavier High School community.
“I’ve often heard from older generations that being a firefighter is the best job in the world,” EJ said. “I can definitely confirm that it is.”
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