DIFFERENCE-MAKER: Veteran Northville Township firefighter retiring

 DIFFERENCE-MAKER: Veteran Northville Township firefighter retiring

Brian Siriani is retiring following 27 years of dedicated work for the Northville Township Fire Department.

Battalion Chief Brian Siriani — a member of Northville Township Fire Department’s inaugural group of career firefighters — is retiring July 16 after nearly 27 years of service.

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Serendipity was the force behind his career choice.

Siriani attended Wayne State University, where he played football. His goals were to go into elementary education and coach football.

On a Friday night, he visited a close friend who was a paid on-call firefighter for Northville Township. While at his condo, his friend was dispatched to a house fire down the street and invited Siriani to observe the scene. That moment changed the trajectory of his career.

“I got to see the camaraderie between the crews,” Siriani said. “I saw how they treated the homeowners with compassion, how the team environment reminded me a lot of a football team except I was watching them put out the fire. The next day, I told my mom I was going to make a career change and I enrolled in the Schoolcraft Fire Academy and left Wayne State.”

Key part of department’s amazing growth

While his mom was upset at the time, his career success indicates it worked out. Battalion Chief Siriani was named the next deputy chief of the Brighton Area Fire Authority.

Brian Siriani
Brian Siriani

He will begin his new position July 24.

Strengthening Northville Township roots, Siriani joined Northville Township as a paid on-call firefighter in1996 and became full-time in 1999. During his tenure, he watched the Fire Department evolve.

His shift when he first joined was eight hours and comprised of two people, then his shift increased to 16 hours in 1999 with four firefighters and then in May 2000, he worked the first 24-hour shift in Northville Township, which continues to this day but instead of two people, it now has 11 firefighters.

Serendipity at work

One of the people he works with now he serendipitously met on that fateful night when he observed the house fire as a Wayne State student. That home belonged to the family of Tom Hughes, who was a child at the time.

Hughes is now Fire Marshal for Northville Township Fire. He, too, was inspired to become a career firefighter by the very same fire that ignited Siriani’s career.

“I sat on the interview panel when Tommy was getting hired and he brought up that story,” he said. It still gives him goosebumps.

Working to make the community better, Siriani helped wherever he could, representing the township in a positive light.

He became a team leader on the Western Wayne County Hazardous Materials Response Team (HAZMAT) for 19 years, was a hazardous materials specialist with the Michigan Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Task Force 1, and served as both a local union president and on its executive board for 18 years.

Heartfelt assist from colleagues

His colleagues stepped up when his wife, Allison, had cancer surgery during the COVID lockdown.

“I never felt alone,” he said. “Every single person in the Fire Department, the Township administration, the Manager’s Office, literally every single person reached out to me and I’ll never forget that.”

Siriani’s retirement comes on the heels of Battalion Chief Chris Koth, who is retiring this week as well after 30 years.

The firehouse won’t be the same without them.

“I hope to be known for — I just hope people say I’m a good person,” Siriani said. “I know that’s simplistic, but really, I just hope people say, if they mentioned my name here, that I was a good person.”

Thank you to Northville Township Communications Director Rene Wisely for contributing this article to SocialHouseNews.com.

Ed Wright

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