Firefighters needed: The Duluth Fire Department searches for applicants
The Duluth Fire Department is looking to fill 8-13 positions for the next year, but the fears of not having enough people to take those positions is rising.
Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj says that it’s going to be hard to bring on that many people. Especially since the station’s training officer will be one of the open positions.
However the department is making strides to get as many applicants as possible. Krizaj says, "One of the things we’ve done proactively is of course we started this new lateral transfer so that is something we’ve never done before."
The lateral transfer process would allow a firefighter with at least 3 years of experience to apply right way. And their resume would act as their test.
And for newer applicants the tradition test has changed as well. "Instead of running an internal Duluth fire test only we’ve teamed up with Lake Superior College and we are doing a consortium test”, says Krizaj. A candidate who took this test would then be able to qualify for multiple fire stations rather than just one.
The amount of open spots that need to be filled have been a result of a cycle of hires. The Chief explains saying, “When you go for a few years at that time 20-25 years ago, without hiring people and you on-board a bunch of people. Well they all hit the same retirement age at the same time. So it’s one of those things that you might see. The cause might be two decades ago but now it’s the effect."
And due to certain polices, the department will have to conform to certain rules. Like the Civil Service rules the station has to follow. The Chief said that they weren’t able to open the traditional tests until the previous list expired. He says the process is a bit different from what regular careers are used to seeing.
And with a potentially quick turnaround, the training process will remain the same length and won’t be rushed. Krizag says it’s a long process but they look for applicants who have a lot of prior knowledge.