The Cleveland Division of Fire welcomed 19 new cadets to its ranks on Friday, and a couple were particularly special.
Cadet Justin Leon's pin featured the number 1338. It's the same number his father Wayne wore as a Cleveland Police Officer.
Wayne was shot and killed in the line of duty on June 25, 2000. His widow, Grace, now pinned the number on Justin's shirt.
Justin joins the division following an 18-week training period. Among the additional new members is Lauren M. Phillips, a former North Randall firefighter and the wife of fellow Cleveland firefighter Todd Phillips. She becomes the first female hire by the division since 1989. Lauren is also the daughter of former Channel 3 reporter/anchor Jack Marschall.
"It’s always a great day when we welcome new Firefighters to the Cleveland Division of Fire," Cleveland Fire Chief Angelo Calvillo said in a statement. "I know they are excited to start their careers serving the residents, businesses and visitors of Cleveland."
Three other veteran female firefighters were on hand to witness Lauren take the oath. The division says it is continuing to try and recruit more women to its ranks.
"I want to congratulate our Fire Academy graduates and thank you for your willingness to serve," Mayor Frank G. Jackson said. "You have the greatest opportunity to positively impact the lives of individuals, families, and communities."