Two new firefighters will be on the job in the Allentown Fire Department. They were among the graduates of the Allentown Fire Academy who were honored during a ceremony today at the city’s Mack South Fire Station.
New Allentown firefighters James Scalera and Elijah Swartz were presented with their badges and each received graduation certificates.
The addition of the two new firefighters brings the total strength of the department to 129 firefighters. The department answered nearly 12,000 calls in 2020.
Mayor Ray O’Connell said he has always been impressed by the dedication of the members of the department. “You have such an extraordinary challenge because many people look up to you, especially children. You can make a difference in their lives, and how you relate to them may be the impetus to their seeking a career in public service.”
Fire Chief Efrain “Freddie” Agosto told the graduates, “Over the coming years you will miss birthdays; you will miss holidays; you will miss your kids’ recitals and sporting events. You will be called on to put yourself in dangerous situations risking your own health and safety. You have chosen to do this not for glory and certainly not for riches, but out of a desire to help other human beings in their most vulnerable moments. There simply is no higher calling. Please stay true to that high ideal.”
The firefighters received classroom instruction, intense physical training and participated in hands-on drills. They obtained national certifications as firefighters, and drivers and operators of pumper and aerial vehicles. Other certifications include emergency medical technician, basic vehicle, water and elevator rescues and hazardous materials operations.
The new Allentown firefighters begin a two-week orientation working with each platoon and each station starting Monday, July 5.
The academy class also includes four graduates who are joining the Easton City Fire Department.