PITTSBURGH, PA (March 19, 2021)—The latest Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire recruit class was sworn in during a ceremony Friday morning at the Fire Academy on Washington Boulevard.
“Today, after 32-plus weeks, you have patches on your sleeve; you represent the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire,” Fire Chief Darryl Jones said. “A lot of pride comes with that. I appreciate that because I am also very proud to have the patches on my sleeve.
“But there’s more than just pride. There’s responsibility. And there is privilege. You have the privilege to serve the people of Pittsburgh—our residents, our visitors, our guests. That is a privilege.”
Mayor William Peduto administered the oath to the 23 recruit graduates, who started their journey at the academy in April. Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich applauded the recruits' hard work, but also took time to acknowledge their families for the sacrifices they have and will make.
“To the families, thank you very much for loaning us your loved ones,” Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said. “They will have good days, they will have bad days. They will need your support. So in advance, thank you.”
The class started and finished during a pandemic, which required patience and adjustments to how skills were taught. For example, a typical class has 32 recruits, but this one started with 24 and graduated 23. The smaller class was needed in order to comply with the Governor’s Covid-19 measures banning gatherings larger than 25 people.
Still, they endured. And on Monday, they will begin their careers as Pittsburgh Firefighters.
“It’s not a career that many people would be willing to do knowing the possibility of having to be in a situation where you’re valuing somebody else more than yourself—you’re willing to put yourself at risk in order to help someone else,” Mayor Peduto said. “It’s a job unlike other jobs. It’s a calling.”
Tonight, the City-County Building is illuminated to recognize Poison Prevention Week and the 50th Anniversary of "Mr. Yuk" in partnership with Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
For questions about the lighting at the City-County Building, please reach out to the Office of the Mayor.