Duluth Fire Department Hiring Laterally

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City council approved a resolution on Monday permitting the Duluth Fire Department to make lateral hires.

DFD is now able to hire professionals from other career fire departments. Eligible hires will start at full firefighter pay. Usually, new hires get paid 90% their first year. The hiring process is slightly different as well, according to Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj.

“A career firefighter that has three years’ experience at another department anywhere, could be in Minnesota or anywhere in the country, can transfer in without taking a written test,” Krizaj said. “They still have to take our CPAP, which is our physical agility test, and then they do have to have an EMT certification.”

This department hopes that this process will help fill recruitment classes as many firefighters plan on retiring in the next few years. Going through the lateral hiring process will enable experienced firefighters to begin working more quickly, which is one of many ways the department believes will gather interest for potential hires.

“We think it’s a great place to work, we think we’re a great fire department,” explained Krizaj. “We love working with our community.”
The Duluth Fire Department receives high approval ratings frequently. Additionally, the location naturally provides an interesting experience for firefighters.

“I think one of the things that’s really unique about Duluth is all the different things we have,” Krizaj said. “We do actually have a lot of structure fires. We have a lot of other variety in our water rescue. We have, of course, Marine 19, Marine 1. We have ice rescues.”

In addition to three years’ experience, job requirements for lateral hires include the “completion of an accepted program of training in firefighting equivalent to IFSRA Firefighter II, or an equivalent combination of education and experience at the time of application” as well as “current Firefighter II certification from the Minnesota Fire Service Certification Board or equivalent certification accredited through IFSAC or NFPA Pro Board.”

The job posting as well as the full requirements will be placed on the city’s website this fall.