FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth’s fire department is finding itself competing not just with other cities for future employees, but other industries in North Texas also battling for the most qualified applicants.
The department is short of 25 positions after approving 925 sworn positions. It’s working to find more applicants over the next three weeks, for the next civil service test in April.READ MORE: 'A Step Towards Healing And Normalcy' Colleyville Synagogue Holds Services A Week After Hostage Standoff
“We get a lot of applications,” said recruiter Thad Raven. “They’re not necessarily qualified to do the job.”
With better fire prevention, the job of a firefighter has evolved, according to new city Fire Chief Jim Davis. Work requirements could include water rescues, medical procedures and building inspections, as much as they could putting out a fire.
“We’re bringing people in and asking them to thrive in college level environments in courses that are anatomy, physiology, chemistry of fire, hazardous material chemistry,” said Davis.
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Those kinds of applicants though, are also being recruited by growing companies in the region. While the variety of the firefighting job can be enticing, Raven said often the department has to appeal to the ideal that it can be more than a job.
“The satisfaction of doing this job,” said Raven. “We get out and give back to this community.”
The department added 14 new positions this year for a new fire station expected to open in 2020.
And as veteran firefighters retire, there are more holes to fill. Last year, the department made 83 offers, out of thousands of interested applicants.MORE NEWS: TCU Stuns No. 15 Iowa State 59-44
Applicants can sign up on the city website, and need to be between 18 and 36 years old, with a high school diploma or equivalent.