The Valparaiso Fire Department welcomed three new members to its team today at a swearing-in ceremony at Valparaiso City Hall. Former and current firefighters, members from the Valparaiso Police Department, and family and community members were in attendance to witness the occasion and offer their congratulations to the new members: Nicholas Fanelli, Kurt Glomb, and Andrew Semethy.
Valpo Fire Chief, Chad Dutz, started the ceremony by congratulating the new members, and reminding them of the distinction that comes with joining the Valpo FD and the responsibility of becoming a part of a family of great public service teams in Porter County that work tirelessly to serve and protect its residents.
“When you came in this morning you carried with you one name,” Dutz said at the ceremony. “And when you leave this chamber today you will carry two names: your own, and that of the Valparaiso Department.”
Dutz also reminded the new firefighters of the honor that wearing the shield of the department means.
“The shield that will be placed on your helmets will reflect the pride of the Valparaiso Fire Department,” Dutz added.
For the new firefighters, they were excited to be joining a team on the cutting edge of fire and rescue and looking forward to going to work and helping out the community.
Andrew Semethy noted that the new and innovative ways that the department is serving the community was part of the motivation for joining the force.
“I came from Cedar Lake,” said Semethy. “And what I am looking forward to most is joining a team that is on the forefront of what they do.”
“It really feels amazing to be a part of a team that is leading the way in what they do and finding new ways to do things” added Nicholas Fanelli. “Firefighters from all over the state look to us to learn new ways to do things.”
And for Kurt Glomb, who is both new to the department and to Valparaiso, being a part of the team meant being able to get out into a community he’s already come to love.
“It feels good,” said Glomb about joining the department. “It feels good to know that we will be out in the community and helping people out there every day.”
And as all three new members stood there today being sworn in as newest members of the Valparaiso Fire Department, one could tell that the pride Dutz alluded to in his welcome speech was not lost on these three newest members of one special team.