Serving Community and Country

June 6, 2008 9:10:43 PM PDT
The Fresno City Fire Department is now ten firefighters stronger. The group was sworn-in Friday morning at city hall. But soon one member of the "Power of Ten" as one of the firefighters called them is leaving to serve not only his community but his country.Mayor Alan Autry thanked and welcomed 10 new Fresno City Firefighters, moments before they were sworn in and one by one had their new badges pinned by loved ones.

Randy Bruegman, Fresno City Fire Chief: "By the end of next week you're going to be riding on the back of one of those big red fire trucks and you just never know what's going to happen."

This video shown at Friday's ceremony gave their families a glimpse of the rigorous training the group has gone through in the last 18 weeks and the bonds formed along the way that will help them through their most difficult situations.

Leland Sharpe, Fresno City Firefighter: "Regardless of how hard things got for us or what was going on in our personal lives we would be there for each other 'til the bitter end and the friendships we developed would last a lifetime."

Firefighter Leland Sharpe will soon have to leave his firefighter 'brothers' to battle fire of a different kind the air force first sergeant will soon be deployed to Africa.

Leland Sharpe: "I'll be working with the marines and the army eradicating terrorist camps and making Africa a better place for the futures to come."

For Michelle Sharpe being a soldier's wife for 15 years has prepared her for the dangers of his new profession.

Michelle Sharpe: "I don't think about it if I thought about it I'd be a nervous wreck."

Sharpe is proud to be serving but says after working so hard to get to this day, he'll be anxious to return home.

Sharpe: "It's going to be sad but they know that I have a commitment to do not only with the community but also to our country. The department understands that and I'll be looking forward to getting home and getting back on that engine."

Leland Sharpe heads to Africa in the next couple of months. This will be his fourth tour of duty.


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