OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Allentown Fire Department welcomed two new members to their ranks in July.  Firefighters Dennis Walton and Jon Steed, recent graduates of the Allentown Fire Academy, were presented their badges by Mayor Pawlowski during a ceremony at the city’s Mack South Fire Station.

“The people of this city deeply appreciate your commitment, courage and bravery,” said Pawlowski.  “Firefighting is a difficult and dangerous profession. The recent death of 19 firefighters in Arizona is an instant reminder. We are grateful that you are willing to risk your own lives to save others and preserve their property.”

The latest additions to the department received graduation certificates from the mayor and Allentown Fire Chief Bob Scheirer.

“This is a busy department,” said Chief Bob Scheirer. “We answer more than 10,000 service calls a year.” Scheirer reminded the graduates of the importance of teamwork they learned during their 18 weeks of training. “It is critical that the fire service operate as a cohesive unit both in the field during fire and other emergencies as well as during the hours spent in the station house.”

The addition of the two new firefighters brings the total number of firefighters in the department to 124.

During their training at the fire academy, they received classroom instruction, rigorous physical training and hands-on firefighting drills.  In addition, they earned national certifications not only as firefighters, but as drivers and operators of pumper and aerial vehicles, emergency medical technicians, basic vehicle, water, and elevator rescues, and hazardous materials operations as well.