Three new firefighters are putting their skills to work in the Allentown Fire Department. They were among the graduates of the Allentown Fire Academy who were honored during a ceremony today at Scottish Rite Cathedral in Allentown.
Newly certified firefighters from Bethlehem and Easton were also recognized at the ceremony.
Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell and Fire Chief Jim Wehr presented badges and graduation certificates to new Allentown firefighters Devin Grow, Nicholas Murray and James Soccodato.
O’Connell reminded the graduates that “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.”
The Allentown Fire Department responds to nearly 10,000 service calls a year.
The addition of the three new firefighters brings the total strength of the department to 125 firefighters.
Firefighter Grow holds an associate degree in fire science from Harrisburg Community College. He has been assigned to the 1st Platoon.
Firefighter Murray earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Brookdale Community College. He has been assigned to the 2nd Platoon.
Firefighter Soccodato is a U.S Marine Corps veteran. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science from New Jersey City University. Firefighter Soccodato has been assigned to the 3rd Platoon.
Each of the graduates has completed 20 weeks of training in the basics of firefighting, building construction, vehicle rescue, swift water rescue, rope rescue, high-rise operations, aerial operations, emergency vehicle operations, pumps and hydraulics, basic life support and CPR.
The firefighters received classroom instruction involving daily and weekly academic testing, homework and evaluations, intense physical training and participation in hands-on drills.
Each of the graduates holds certifications as a Firefighter I, Firefighter II, Pumper Driver Operator, Aerial Driver Operator, Emergency Medical Technician — Basic, Vehicle Rescue Technician, Hazardous materials operations, and Basic boating safety.