Allentown Fire Chief Lee Laubach has announced the promotion of Battalion Chief Jim Wehr to the position of deputy fire chief.
Wehr is in his 22nd year with the department. He was the 2009 Firefighter of the Year.
Mayor Ed Pawlowski said, “Jim is a highly decorated firefighter who has risen through the ranks. He has been a tremendous asset to the department and will do great work as deputy chief.”
Over the course of his career, Deputy Chief Wehr has been honored for valor which according to department guidelines involves a degree of danger of “extreme personal risk.” He also has been cited for heroism which according to department guidelines “involves personal risk.”
“Jim has been a superior firefighter and a great leader as battalion chief,” said Laubach. “He is well deserved of all the recognition he has received during his career. He will be an outstanding deputy chief of the department.”
When he was honored as Firefighter of the Year in 2009, Deputy 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.
Deputy 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.
As Deputy Chief of Operations, Wehr is second in command in the department. Among other things, the Deputy Chief of Operations supervises and evaluates assistant chiefs, battalion chiefs, captains, lieutenants, fire marshals and firefighters assigned to the division as well as being responsible for all personnel and apparatus assigned to the department.
“I want to thank Mayor Pawlowski and Chief Laubach for placing me in a leadership role in the department,” said Wehr. “We have an exceptional department. Our members do not hesitate to risk their lives to save others.”
Wehr joined the department in 1994. He was promoted to Fire Specialist in 2005, later promoted to Lieutenant in 2006 and was promoted to Captain in 2010. He was promoted to Battalion Chief in 2012.