Mayor Tom Henry today joined leaders of the Fort Wayne Fire Department to welcome the 17 members of the department’s 88th recruit class.
The recruits are beginning a16-week process to become firefighters for the City of Fort Wayne. The anticipated graduation date is May 13.
Breakdown of the new recruit class:
12 Caucasian males
2 Caucasian females
2 Hispanic/Latino males
1 African American male
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our residents,” said Mayor Henry. “We work each day to ensure our community is as safe as possible. We have an outstanding fire department committed to being the best. We’re fortunate to be in position to add new firefighters as we continue to move our City in the right direction.”
“Today’s launch of our recruit class is a great way to start 2016,” said Fort Wayne Fire Chief Eric Lahey. “It’s an honor to serve and protect our community. The individuals selected for this class have demonstrated professionalism and a strong desire to give back. We’re looking forward to great results from this class.”
To continue the City’s commitment to public safety, the 89th recruit class of the Fort Wayne Fire Department will begin this summer and is expected to have 25 members. In total, the fire department will be adding 42 firefighters.
The additional firefighters will enhance the fire department’s level of service by ensuring four firefighters are on a fire apparatus/equipment at all times and fill positions that are vacated through anticipated and unanticipated retirements.
Ten of the new firefighters are a result of the City of Fort Wayne receiving a $1.4 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant from the federal government. The grant received by the City will cover salaries and benefits for 10 of the new firefighters for two years.
Over the last several years, the City has grown from 65 square miles to more than 110 square miles. The Fort Wayne Fire Department is responsible for the second largest land mass in Indiana as well as infrastructure critical to the entire region. Adding firefighters will result in optimal response and protection capabilities during the more than 18,000 runs encountered annually by the department.