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Brothers among 6 officers promoted by Toledo Fire

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Brothers Mark Benadum, left, and Mike Benadum are sworn in as captains during a Toledo Fire and Rescue Department ceremony at One Government Center. Six officers were promoted Friday.

the blade/dave zapotosky
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Mike and Mark Benadum knew their scores for promotion were close, but they didn't realize they would be side by side as they took the oath.

The brothers were among six officers from the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department to be promoted Friday morning.

"Who would have thought that we'd be promoted on the same day to the same rank," Mark Benadum said after he and his brother were made captains.

"I'm living my dream," Mike Benadum said.

PHOTO GALLERY: Toledo Fire and Rescue Department promotes 6

Also promoted were Bryce Blair, Jr., from captain to battalion chief and Jeremy Vedra, Matthew Viertlbeck, and Robert Swartz from private to lieutenant.

Lieutenant Vedra, during a brief speech after his promotion, said he is a fourth-generation firefighter. He then hinted to the future and mentioned his brother is in the pool to possibly be hired by the department.

"I'm so proud to be a firefighter," the new lieutenant said.

Fire Chief Luis Santiago said the force "will be a better, stronger department because of what we're promoting today."

The chief added that the department is on pace this year to beat last year's record-breaking run volume.

With the busy year continuing, the chief also said there is still much to look forward to in the months to come, including the new fire Station 6, which is to be dedicated Sept. 11, and a new fire class expected to be hired before the end of the year.

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