Mayor Ed Pawlowski is nominating interim Fire Chief Lee Laubach for the job on a permanent basis.
Laubach is a 23-year veteran of the department, who has served as interim chief since February 2015.
Pawlowski said, “Lee is doing a fantastic job as chief of the department and as the city’s Emergency Management Coordinator. He has the confidence of the administration, the fire department and the community. In addition, his handling of Allentown Fire Department K-9 Judge has been very gratefully received by the community and has resulted in a lot of positive publicity for the department and the city.”
As an educator, Judge has appeared at more than 500 fire safety programs and demonstrations for crime watch groups, specialty dog shows, elementary school and high school programs, and more. Chief Laubach has also developed a pilot program using Judge to get the life safety message to autistic children.
“I am humbled and honored Mayor Pawlowski is pleased with the direction of the Allentown Fire Department under my interim status to officially nominate me for the position," Laubach said. “I believe we have created a strong and solid foundation within the Allentown Fire Department over the last year and a half. The department has worked diligently to expand and improve our community outreach, training and fire prevention activities. We are a team and without the dedication and hard work performed by the members of the fire department day in day out we would not have been successful. I look forward to the challenge and continuing to move the fire department into the future.”
Prior to being appointed interim chief, Laubach served as Deputy Chief of Operations which is second in command in 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.
Among other things, Laubach is a Certified Expert Witness in courtroom testimony – Fire Investigation and holds Basic and Advanced Emergency Management PEMA Certifications.
Laubach is a graduate of Dieruff High School and attended Alvernia College where he majored in biology. He is in the process of earning his BS in Emergency Management from Columbia Southern.
Laubach’s nomination must be confirmed by City Council.