Lee T. Laubach Jr. took the oath of office today as interim fire chief in the City of Allentown during a ceremony in City Council Chambers.
Laubach is a 21-year veteran of the department, who has served as Deputy Chief for the past year. He replaces interim Chief Bob Kudlak who retired earlier this month.
Mayor Ed Pawlowski said, “Lee has done an incredible job as the Deputy Chief and as the city’s Emergency Management Coordinator. He will make an outstanding chief. Lee has the confidence of the administration, the fire department and the community.”
“I want to first thank the Mayor for trusting me to lead the Allentown Fire Department into what I hope is a very bright future,” Laubach said. “I have deep roots in this city and most of my family and friends came from, and still live and work here. Over the years, the Allentown Fire Department has become one of the premier organizations in the country. We support the city with not only first rate fire protection and basic life support, but also man the bomb squad, dive team, technical rescue, hazmat, and Arson K9 Team. These services are provided by two simple elements; firefighters willing to get the job done, no matter how daunting, and support of the City of Allentown. I consider this position a great honor and look forward to serving the people of this community to the best of my ability.”
As Deputy Chief of Operations, Laubach was second in command in the department. Among other things, the Deputy Chief of Operations supervises and evaluates assistant chiefs, battalion chiefs, captains, lieutenants, fire marshals and firefighters assigned to the division as well as being responsible for all personnel and apparatus assigned to the department.
Laubach joined the department in 1993. He was promoted to Fire Specialist in August of 2002, later promoted to Lieutenant in April 2006 and was promoted to Fire Marshal in June of 2008. He was promoted to Captain of Public Affairs in October 2009 and was promoted to Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention in September 2010. He was named the department’s 2010 Firefighter of the Year.