Hiring Experienced Firefighters During Tough Times

Issue 8 and Volume 163.

By Brian Ward Money is short, staffing is decreasing, and there are no signs of relief in the near future. However, EMS and fire calls do not just stop because times are tough; if anything, they increase. Hiring experienced firefighters and completing their evaluation/training through a one-week fast-track or lateral academy evaluation program is one way to fill your ranks and save training money and time. Although we want to fill the vacant spots, we must be careful and not trade quality for quantity. Nevertheless, if appropriately planned and conducted, this can be a tremendous program. From another perspective, such a program may be the deciding factor the next time you ask your elected officials for additional personnel or equipment; it demonstrates that your department is fiscally responsible. Let’s look at the advantages of holding such an academy, particularly the cost savings, as well as the preparation needed, the basic…

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