Newsmaker: John Gardell
Noteworthy: John Gardell spearheaded fundraising for this year’s Pittsburgh firefighters Coats for Kids program, which kicked off Saturday and gives new winter coats, hats and gloves to children, Firefighters raised $40,000 to buy 1,700 coats. Gardell organized the first-ever Hero Hustle, a 5k race held Oct. 4, to help raise money.
Family: Wife, Kristin; daughter, Lanely, 10; and son, Jack, 7.
Occupation: Gardell is a Pittsburgh Fire Bureau lieutenant in Homewood.
Background: He is a retired member of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. where he served as a firefighter from 1995 to 2003. He joined the former Wilkinsburg Fire Department in 1997 and was hired by the Pittsburgh department in 2005. He is the vice president of the firefighter’s union and helps out with his children’s sports teams.
Education: Gardell graduated from the former Taylor Allderdice High School. He studied fire science through the Community College of the Air Force.
Quote: “We see kids walking up and down the streets everyday that don’t have the proper clothing. You see the kids wearing your coats all winter, and it’s something.”