WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Seven new firefighters were sworn in Wednesday in Warren — the first time that the department has been at full strength for several years.
The firefighters that were sworn in are Zachary Walter, Steven Bryte, Jr., Duriel Harris, Rodney Simmons, Alexander Jones, Jacob Samsel and Thomas Advey.
The seven new recruits join nine other rookies sworn in earlier this year.
Their salaries are being paid by a federal grant that allows the city to have enough firefighters on staff to cover the entire city.
Budget problems forced the closure of all but one station in the city over the past 10 years.
The fire chief said he’s glad to have enough people on staff.
“It’s gonna make our city safer than what it already is. In the next three or four weeks, all the stations are going to be open on a routine basis. We are ecstatic today,” said fire chief Ken Nussle.
The reopening of the stations eases the minds of many residents. Some of those people live near the Northeast Fire Station on Atlantic Street. They say it’s about time the station reopen because they are needed more now than ever.
“Great, especially for our neighborhood here because it just feels safer when you have somebody there all the time,” Kenny Lowry, who lives across the street from the Atlantic Street station.
The new firefighters said they’re ready to get to work.
“It’s always a positive, to learn from these guys who have a lot of experience, to really take the next step in becoming a professional firefighter,” said new firefighter Duriel Harris.
The fire stations have been closed, on and off, for at least six years.
At the ceremony this morning, an African American Firefighter was sworn in for the first time in 25 years.