KS_chiefleshkoHazleton City Fire Chief Donald Leshko visited Keystone Job Corps Center’s Security trade to discuss careers in emergency services.

Chief Leshko described the process of applying for positions in the fire services and how to prepare for the civil service examinations and interviews, which are part of the hiring process for career firefighters. He discussed how he started as a volunteer and followed in a long family tradition of involvement in the fire service. He then elaborated on the demands of a career as a First Responder and how it impacts the entire family.

Students learned how fires are extinguished and the roles firefighters fulfill during other emergencies. Chief Leshko described firefighting gear and demonstrated self-contained breathing apparatus. He talked about how fires burn with much more intensity than they did even ten years ago and how they accelerate at a much faster rate. He then fielded questions about the dangers firefighters face and how they deal with emergencies such as motor vehicle accidents.

Student Chassidy Olivencia said of the presentation, “You could tell how passionate and knowledgeable Chief Leshko is about his job. He spoke about careers in fire service and how it may be a very good option for a lot of Security students once they graduate. Also, it was interesting to learn about how different situations required different approaches for the firefighters when they arrive to a scene.”

Chief Leshko was just as complimentary of the students in the trade. “The students were very interested in the fire service and what firefighters do on a daily basis. I thank Instructor Semon and all of the students for providing me the time to speak to them.”

The Hazleton City Fire Department protects a municipality with over 25,000 residents and responds to over 1,000 incidents a year. The protection is provided through a cooperative effort of career and volunteer firefighters who man two ladder trucks, four engines, and a utility vehicle from three stations.