Two 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 the Grand Eastonian Hotel in Easton.
Allentown Fire Chief Lee Laubach presented badges and graduation certificates to new Allentown firefighters Mark A. Kresge Jr. and Andrew Drake.
“I want to personally thank both of these men for their commitment and decision to enter into a career to protect and serve,” said Chief Laubach. They have received some of the best training available in the state; the classroom work challenged their mind and learning skills was physically demanding. It wasn’t easy, but neither is this job.” Laubach advised the graduates to abide by the Golden Rule, “always treat those you are called to assist as you would wish to be treated; and just as well.”
The Allentown Fire Department responds to more than 10,000 service calls a year.
The addition of the two new firefighters brings the total strength of the department to 122 firefighters.
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.
Firefighter Kresge is a graduate of Allen High School and earned a B.A. from Kutztown University. He is a U.S. Army veteran and is a member of the PA Army National Guard. Kresge Jr. is a second generation Allentown firefighter. His father, Mark, is a captain in the department.
Firefighter Drake attended New Jersey’s Sussex County Community College for Fire Science. He too is a U.S. Army veteran and a member of the PA Army National Guard.
The new Allentown firefighters are members of the 1st Platoon.