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Departments Changing Firefighter Job Requirements

Departments Changing Firefighter Job Requirements

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Springfield Business Journal via YellowBrix

February 04, 2010

SPRINGFIELD – As the Springfield Fire Department prepares to fill some positions that have been frozen for a year, it is changing eligibility requirements to broaden the pool of candidates.

Applicants for this summer’s Fire Training Academy are now eligible if they meet one of the following qualifications:

• Emergency Medical Technician-B certification;

• Firefighter I and II certification;

• 36 accredited college hours; or

• Two years of active-duty military service with an honorable discharge.

Candidates previously needed both EMT and firefighter certification.

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“We believe there are many qualified applicants that were previously not eligible for the position because of the specialized entrance requirements,” Fire Chief David Hall said in a news release. “Because we teach these skills during our academy, we believe this will allow the department to get the very best employees by pulling from a larger applicant pool.”

Other qualifications remain in place: Candidates must be at least 18 years old, have a high-school diploma or equivalent, have no serious misdemeanor convictions in the last five years and no felony convictions, have vision correctable to 20/30, and be in excellent physical condition.

Applications are being accepted through Feb. 26; written exams will be given March 9 and 10, with those who pass taking physical-agility exams the week of March 15. The academy will open after the new fiscal year begins July 1.

The department expects to hire about 17 new firefighters for positions frozen since January 2009. The city has reopened the academy after voters approved a November sales tax referendum to fund the Police and Fire Pension Fund. That tax stabilizes the city’s pension contribution, allowing the city to backfill frozen positions, according to the release.