For the first time since 2013, the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department appears poised to add new firefighters to its ranks, reports al.com.
On Monday morning, Mayor Sandy Stimpson welcomed 30 new MFRD recruits outside the department’s training academy on Owens Street. He hailed the recruits as a “highly qualified” and “diverse” group. They were chosen from a pool of about 90 applicants.
Of those chosen, all 30 applied with at least a basic level of medic certification. All but eight were already fully certified to fight fires, fire officials said.
“Because of… the certifications they already have it will save the city approximately $460,000 because it won’t take as long to train them as it would a class of raw recruits,” Stimpson said.
“This is significant not only because of the money but because it will allow us to have another class — possibly later this year — that will follow this one.”
Stimpson said the city’s ability to hold a second class in 2015 should go a long way toward fixing issues of understaffing in MFRD.
“It’s a major step in that direction,” said Fire Chief Billy Pappas. “This will increase our ranks significantly.”
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