Nesquehoning Hose Company volunteers are the first in Carbon County to advance in certification as fire professionals, reaching their goal of 75 percent participation.

Nesquehoning Ambulance Corp Volunteers also obtained advance certification, with 50 percent participation as Fire Professionals.

Hose Company No. 1 was recently recognized as an organization that supports, promotes and encourages its emergency response personnel to voluntarily certify within the Commonwealth's Certification Program administered by The Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

The Voluntary Firefighter Certification program allows the emergency responders to participate in and be recognized as Certified Fire Professionals at various levels in accordance with nationally recognized and sanctioned Professional Qualification Standards.

John McArdle, Fire Chief of the Nesquehoning Hose Company and president of the Nesquehoning Ambulance Corp, is proud that the firefighters are receiving the recognition for the training they constantly receive.

Lieutenant Matthew Miller took charge of the Certification Project and coordinated the preparation courses and exams. Members have voluntarily taken the certification tests which include a practical and written exam that is very demanding. As difficult as it is to travel and spend time away from family, the dedicated volunteers realize the departments have set higher standards for their personnel. It also pays big dividends, offering opportunities for grants and increasing the service level in the borough's ISO rating.

In 2008, Chief McArdle told the borough council that in three years, the department would achieve the goal of 75 percent and it has.

A majority of the members are also members of the Nesquehoning Ambulance, so it was fitting that the ambulance receives recognition as well.