13 new firefighting recruits begin process
New East Fork Fire Protection District recruits start their 12-week training Oct. 1 at the Regional Fire Academy in Carson City.
“East Fork has been facing an unprecedented challenge of staff vacancies due to retirements, employee resignations, and academy failures,” Chief Tod Carlini said. “Combine that with five-long term injury vacancies, the district has been short staffed by nine vacancies for several months. Most recently two long-time employees with the district retired.”
East Fork will have 13 recruits in the academy, which is the single largest recruit class the district has ever fielded at one time. The Regional Academy conducts two programs per year, one in the fall and the other in the spring. Once the recruits complete their training, they will under go two weeks of orientation with East Fork.
“This is all pretty exciting for the organization and certainly needed as the district starts to experience the retirement wave over the next few years,” Carlini said. “We have excellent candidates enrolled in this academy. The district processed over 130 applications in a two-week process that included an application review, written examination, physical ability assessment, skills testing, staff interview panel, and a final interview with the district fire chief. The recruitment was opened nationally for over four weeks. The new personnel won’t be ready for full shift assignment until Jan. 7.”
East Fork has revamped its volunteer program, focusing effort on training volunteers for logistical and wildland firefighting tasks.
Under this revised effort, the district has managed to recruit and train 21 new logistical and support volunteers, with another 15 scheduled for training in October.
“While the volunteer commitment is critical to the overall mission, the bottom line is that the district needs additional career staff,” Carlini said.
East Fork is an all-hazard response agency.