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Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick President Joseph Long recently announced Chief James Jay Delaney will receive the W. Francis Swingle Award when the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick gather Saturday, March 17, for their 104th annual St. Patrick’s Day Banquet.

Delaney was born in Avoca, the son of James Jay Sr. and Dorothy Delaney. He is a graduate of St. John the Evangelist High School and Luzerne County Community College with a degree in fire science technology. He also completed advanced course work at the National Fire Academy, Emmitsburg, Maryland, and the Center for Domestic Preparedness, Anniston, Alabama. He is also a certified paramedic.

Delaney has been employed by the City of Wilkes-Barre Fire Department since 1981, holding every rank in the fire department, including 13 years as fire chief. He leads a fire department with 78 full-time fire fighters and paramedics along with a $10 million budget. He also is Wilkes-Barre’s Emergency Management coordinator.

Under Delaney’s direction, the fire department’s ISO Public Protection Classification became Class 2. That ranks Wilke-Barre in the top 1 percent of the 2,446 fire departments in Pennsylvania. He also was responsible for acquiring nearly $4 million in grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

During his career, there have been many progressive upgrades in emergency operations with the use of Automated External Defibrillators and fire, rescue and emergency medical service equipment. In 2015, the fire department started an aggressive Narcan program to fight the opioid epidemic.

Chief Delaney has received the American Red Cross Lifesaving Award of Merit, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center Outstanding Provider of the Year award and an award from former Mayor Tom McGroarty for saving the life of a city resident with AED technology.

In 2007, Gov. Ed Rendell appointed Delaney to the Pennsylvania Game Commission Board of Commissioners for an eight-year term. That term included serving as board president in 2010. In 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf appointed Delaney to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation. He is also a member and trustee of the Upper Pittston Sportsmen Club.

Delaney serves as president of the Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association. He also is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Fire Protection Association and the Luzerne County Community College EMS Program Advisory Board. He also is a sustaining member of the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and St. Benedict’s Roman Catholic Church.

He previously was a member of Hughestown Hose Company No. 1, Eagle Hose Company No. 1, Pittston and the Greater Pittston Ambulance Association. In 1981, Delaney also was part of a coalition to bring Paramedic Advanced Life Support to Greater Pittston.

He resides in the Miners Mills section of Wilkes-Barre and is married to the former Valerie Sakaduski. They have three children, Sarah, Jamie and Megan and seven grandchildren.

Banquet tickets

The Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Day Banquet will be held Saturday, March 17 at the Woodlands Inn and Resort on Route 315 Friday. Ticket prices are $80 per person and $50 for guests under the age of 21. Children Banquet tickets are also available for guest under 12 for $25.

Tickets may be purchased from any active member of the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick or at the Knights of Columbus on Main Street in Pittston every Thursday night until the night of the banquet. Tickets must be purchased in advanced.