Allentown City Council has voted to confirm Jim Wehr as chief of the Allentown Fire Department.
Wehr is in his 26th year with the department. He had been serving as interim chief of the department since August 2018.
Over the course of his career, Chief Wehr has been recognized as Firefighter of the Year, honored for valor which according to department guidelines involves a degree of danger of extreme personal risk and cited for heroism which according to department guidelines “involves personal risk.”
“Jim is a fine leader who has the respect of the department,” said Mayor Ray O’Connell. “He has demonstrated his ability through some trying experiences over the past 14-months. It has also been my pleasure to work with him in upgrading the equipment of the department.”
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mayor O’Connell and Managing Director McMahon for their confidence in my ability to lead the Allentown Fire Department,” said Wehr. “It has been my privilege to have served on the Allentown Fire Department for the past 25 years and it is with great honor and pride that I accept the position of chief. I cannot imagine leading a better department and working with a finer group of firefighters.”
When he was honored as the 2009 Firefighter of the Year, Chief Wehr served in the Central Fire Station office. He was cited for his professional manner, work ethic and flawless and timely handling of administrative duties. He had recently assumed command of the department’s dive team. Wehr was also recognized with a Certificate of Appreciation for his assistance in fund raising through extracurricular activities.
Chief Wehr also earned the Alfred W. Fischl Firefighter Service Award in 2014. The award is presented to an individual who has served the department for at least 20 years and has exemplified himself with consistent and dedicated work habits during that period.
Wehr joined the department in 1994 after having served in the U.S. Air Force. He was promoted to Fire Specialist in 2005, later promoted to Lieutenant in 2006 and was promoted to Captain in 2010. Wehr was promoted to Battalion Chief in 2012. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration from Columbia Southern University.