Los Angeles to Hire 165 New Firefighters

With a new fire chief awaiting confirmation and thousands of expected applicants, the city of Los Angeles is beginning the process of hiring 165 new firefighters even as standards and procedures are being revamped to avoid the problems that have plagued the department in the past, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

Applications will be accepted from 8 a.m. today through midnight Thursday. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who last week selected Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas to be the next chief, had previously pushed up the hiring deadline to fill vacancies and help reduce response times

Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb said the mayor believes bringing in additional firefighters is critical to keeping our city safe.

“Mayor Garcetti directed that steps were taken to restart hiring now through an improved process,” he said. “The new process will continue to be reviewed as we look ahead to more hiring over the next year. The goal is to ensure there is a level playing field that results in hiring the best possible firefighters.”

The move comes even as a report is still in the works by the RAND Corp. on how hiring procedures should be amended. RAND officials said they hope to have a draft to city officials by the end of July.

The department’s criteria for candidates came under criticism this year because of the number of recruits who were related to firefighters, as well as accusations that some received special training to prepare them for the process.

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