BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (WBRC) – Birmingham Fire & Rescue is recruiting high school students to join a program designed to help them make the team right after graduation.
The department is working with Birmingham City Schools to create a pipeline of candidates to become firefighters.
They hope to spark student enthusiasm for the field early on, as interest has waned over the years.
The Birmingham Fire & Rescue Academy of Public Safety is currently offered to students at Huffman and Parker High Schools and plans to expand to the seven high schools in the city of Birmingham in the future.
“This allows us to create a diverse workforce within our community. So we take our sophomores and junior high school students and place them in a public safety academy that trains them to pursue careers in the firefighting field, ”said Sebastian Carrillo, fire department battalion chief and Birmingham Rescue Center.
Chief Carrillo said the best way to build a quality workforce is to start in the community.
He said recruiting high school students who are passionate about fire and rescue helps ensure the longevity of their careers in Birmingham.
“You’re talking about a high school student who can get out of high school and jump straight into a career earning $ 38,000 a year as an entry level candidate. So that really prepares them for success early in life, ”said Chef Carrillo.
But interest in the field is waning and the department is dealing with calls, time off and COVID.
Chief Carrillo said the ministry had not experienced any delays in serving the community due to these shortages, but was using several different approaches to attract more people to the job.
“We have a very robust Facebook, Twitter, you know, all of our social media accounts. Across the region, we are having difficulty recruiting paramedics, which is why the City of Birmingham recently instituted a registration bonus. It’s something we’ve never had to do before.
Chief Carrillo said the registration bonus is $ 5,000 for paramedics who come to work for the city of Birmingham.
He said the city has also increased the pay scale for entry-level positions in hopes of getting more people to join us.
Students can find out more about THE PUBLIC SAFETY ACADEMY by talking to their guidance counselors or by contacting Fire & Rescue directly.
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