PITTSBURGH, PA (December 13, 2019) – The Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire held a graduation ceremony today for Recruit Class 129-19, which began its training on April 29, 2019.
Of the 31 recruits, four are following in the footsteps of family members. Three of them are the sons of current or retired firefighters and one is the brother of a current firefighter.
Sixteen of the recruits are United States military veterans, making them uniquely suited for the many challenges that lie ahead as members of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire.
Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones told the class that they are also unique for another reason.
“This class, more than any other, exuded the intestinal fortitude, the resiliency, and the can-do attitude that is the fabric of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire,” said Chief Jones.
Speaking directly to the families, Chief Jones told them their loved ones were now members of an elite organization, but that their chosen career does not come without sacrifice. He told them there will also be concern for their safety.
“Do not worry. They will not be there alone. They will have over 600 of their brothers and sisters right there with them. They will stand with them side by side, back to back, supporting them, encouraging them, and keeping them safe,” said Chief Jones.
Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich reminded the group that they pushed themselves mentally and physically and gave all they had to give during their 32-week journey to become Pittsburgh Firefighters.
But, before administering the Oath of Office, Hissrich told the graduating class that they were also special because they were taught by a legend, Captain James Petruzzi, who will retire next summer.
“That means that you, Class 129-19, are his last recruits. Wear that honor proudly. Not only were you taught by the best, but being his last class, he will never forget you. As for you, Captain, I want to personally thank you,” said Hissrich.
After being granted the traditional weekend off after graduation by Chief Jones, the newly-minted firefighters will begin work with their platoons at their respective firehouses next week.