Lt. Joe Peluso, Lt. John Perry and Lt. Matt Farris. Submitted photo.

Burton Fire District promotes 2 as lead Investigator retires

From staff reports

At a brief ceremony Monday, Dec. 20, in front of family and coworkers, the Burton Fire District promoted two Firefighter/Engineers to the rank of Lieutenant, and a Lieutenant/Investigator retired after 35 years in the fire service.

Burton Fire District Lieutenant/Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Joe Peluso was promoted to his current rank. Lieutenant Peluso, a former Marine Corps firefighter, joined the fire district in 2015. Lt. Peluso also works part time as a Beaufort County 911 Dispatcher. His wife and daughters were present to pin on his new rank.

Burton Fire District Lieutenant/Paramedic Matt Farris was promoted to his current rank. Lieutenant Farris joined the fire district in 2016. Upon graduation from the South Carolina Fire Academy, Lt. Farris was selected by his classmates to receive the prestigious Order of Maltese Cross Award, and by the academy instructors to receive the Lee Walters Award, which was named after Sheldon Fire District Assistant Fire Chief Walters who died in the line of duty in 2006.

Lt. Farris received his National Registry Paramedic in 2020 after completing the difficult and demanding course during the peak of COVID. His wife and children were present to pin on his new rank.

Burton Fire District Lieutenant/Fire Investigator John Perry is retiring after 35 years in the fire service. Lt. Perry was a fourth generation volunteer firefighter in New York, as well as a career firefighter for the Albany County Airport, before coming to Beaufort. Lt. Perry started in Burton in 1998 and is the district’s lead fire investigator, as well as a certified arson dog handler. Perry and his arson dogs Abby and Sam were among the few in the state. Perry also served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve as an infantryman.

“It is a bitter sweet night,” Burton Fire Chief Harry Rountree said in a release. “We are losing a long time very dedicated and experienced firefighter, but we are also promoting two younger, but equally dedicated firefighters, who we feel are certain to make the same impact as Lt. Perry.”

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