New Fresno (CA) Firefighters Will Help the ‘Busiest Fire Department in the United States’

By Craig Kohlruss

The Fresno Bee


Nineteen recruits are going through final training of their eight-week drill school before joining the Fresno Fire Department to fill 20 vacancies next month.

On Thursday, with Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer and Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis observing, the recruits quickly moved coils of fire hose, hoisted ladders, scaled multi-story buildings, and forced open locked doors at the department’s training yard in downtown Fresno.

Donis said two more classes of recruits would be trained this year to help increase the number of firefighters available each day. She said that by April of next year, the department hopes to improve minimum daily staffing in the department from 81 to 95, the most in the department’s history.

“We have the busiest fire department in the United States,” Dyer said, noting that the rate of calls has gone up 61% in two years, with 42,000 calls expected this year.

“The more firefighters we hire, the better service that’s going to be delivered, the safer people are going to be within our community,” he said.


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