Firefighter Hiring Process Varies

By: Venton Blandin Email
By: Venton Blandin Email

January 11, 2007

Fire departments all over the country are looking to hire more people, and often times they turn to the younger generation. In Albemarle County, they are doing things a little differently.

Assistant Fire Chief Bob Brown oversees operations for the Albemarle County Fire Department. A good number of career and volunteer employees make up the department, but it is still in need of more.

"What we are looking for are individuals who have experience in both fire and rescue," said Albemarle County Assistant Fire Chief Bob Brown.

Chief Brown shuffles through hundreds of applications for men and women wanting to be an Albemarle County firefighter.

Often times, fire departments will hire the less-experienced person. Brown is now being aggressive to get the more-experienced firefighter.

"It allows us to put them out into the field right away, or at least with minimal training," added Brown.

That advantage helps increase the department's quality, but it also helps decrease the amount of money it spends on training.

Brown says it is not about the budget.

"What we're really about is trying to get the best people for the department, and the best people for our fire and EMS system locally," added Brown.

The Charlottesville Fire Department also has a process it uses to fill positions. It uses an on-going list of candidates which serves as a pool when there is a need to hire.

"What we'll try to do it maintain a list of 20-30 people that we can hire from over the course of the year when we have a vacancy that occurs," said Charlottesville Deputy Fire Chief Britt Grimm.

Those hoping to become a firefighter have a good chance with the opening of the new Hollymead fire station set for January 2008.

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