YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Fire Department swore in new firefighters on Wednesday morning, just two days after a firefighter was shot at a vacant house fire.
Youngstown Fire Chief John O’Neill said the attack on his crews has changed perspectives of the job.
“Once that happens, you kind of get on edge for awhile, and I think we will be until that guy’s caught,” he said.
Chief John O’Neill gave Andrew Spisak and Scott Thomas their pins, putting them on the force during what has been a difficult week. The two were sworn in Wednesday by Youngstown Mayor John McNally.
The men said they are excited to start the new job, but they are also on edge.
“Without a doubt, things happen, but I think the guys down here will have everyone’s back, especially the Youngstown Police Department, but I am excited to say the least,” Thomas said.
McNally reminded everyone to stay safe, but those involved are confident that the person responsible for Monday’s shooting will be found.
“Someone out there did something very foolish, very cowardly, and the police department will find out who that was and that person will be dealt with accordingly,” McNally said.
The police department will continue responding with the fire department to provide protection after Monday’s shooting, and they’ve already had a couple of calls where the relationship has worked perfectly.
“You feel a little more secure, but under the circumstances of what we’re going through today, it’s a little disturbing, scary at times,” said Youngstown Fire Capt. Chris Weaver.
The investigative work continued Wednesday to find the person who was standing alongside the road and fired the gun. Some of the evidence collected by city police has been sent to the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab for analysis.
Chief O’Neill said the firefighter who was shot in the leg, Lt. Paul Lutton, is home from the hospital and in good spirits.
Editor’s note: A video that aired at noon said Andrew Spisak is from Hubbard and Scott Thomas is from Boardman. Thomas is actually from Hubbard, and Spisak is from Boardman. WKBN regrets the error.