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Growing need to fill firefighter vacancies pushes College Station Fire Department to offer incentives

Posted at 7:12 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 21:07:31-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — An extremely difficult job market is now impacting the College Station Fire Department, but with the help of some hiring incentives, fire officials hope to encourage some hometown heroes to apply.

College Station Fire Chief Richard Mann says filling fire service roles is extremely difficult.

”It’s nothing that’s unique to College Station Fire Department," Mann said. "It’s something the fire service profession in general is seeing in the state of Texas and across the nation."

The College Station Fire Department is looking to fill nine openings. And even instructors like David Rosier — with TEEX Fire Academy — has witnessed a decrease in interest while the need increases.

”The need for firefighters is increasing tremendously from back in my era when I was in the fire service," said Rosier, training manager for the fire academy at TEEZ. "That group is retiring or is already retired and as the cities grow there is a greater need for firefighters in the communities.

But cadets like Carley Ratcliff hope to inspire other females — show that this isn’t only a man's job.

”Especially being a woman in a mostly male dominated field I would say that’s the biggest step it is to take," Ratcliff said. "And getting that opportunity I think will help probably lead more people to take that next step so we can keep filling those spots."

For the first time the college station fire department will allow lateral transfers.

“They’ve gained a valuable amount of experience in training rather than bringing them in and starting them off at the pay scale of the bottom of the ladder," Mann said. "We’re bringing them in with some service credit."

Mann encourages those passionate about serving their community and helping others to explore the fire service profession.

“It is an incredible profession," Mann said. "It’s the only profession that you get into I believe where every day you know that you made a difference in the lives of people."

The College Station Fire Department is offering a starting salary of nearly $54,000 annually.