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Fire Department Hiring Ahead to Fill Future Vacancies

The Spokane Fire Department will start a new hiring tactic next month: hire ahead so that recruits can start the day a position opens.

The fire department, like any city branch, periodically loses staff through retirements and other resignations. In a forthcoming hire-ahead program, recruits will complete the 13 month firefighter training, and stay on hold until a position opens.

Williams: “So that we can have those people in advance of the retirements, as soon as the retirement occurs, then the position is filled immediately. This will help us save on overtime costs down the road, it helps us fill day-to-day vacancies with personnel that are ready to work.”

Fire Chief Bobby Williams says they will start with 22 recruits in September, who will finish their training right before Christmas.

Mayor David Condon supports the hire-ahead program, but the city council still must approve it. The funding element requires compensation for firefighters in training, but expected savings down the road like fewer overtime payouts.

Copyright 2015 Spokane Public Radio

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