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Schenectady
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Schenectady Fire Department Introduces New Trainee Role in Efforts to Attract More Members

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SCHENECTADY – The Schenectady Fire Department is looking for​ new ways to attract potential recruits. One such way is ​the proposed creation⁢ of a firefighter trainee position, which would allow them to‌ broaden their hiring pool. The position would ⁤lower the age ‌requirement ‌from 21 to 19 and provide training at a state-certified fire ⁢academy and paramedic school. rnrnThe ⁤fire department​ has always maintained ⁢high standards for their candidates, including 60 college credits ​and EMT-paramedic certification.‌ Fire Chief Donald Mareno emphasizes that these requirements⁤ will remain the‍ same, but‍ the process for reaching them‍ will change. rnrnMareno joined the department in 1991 and recalls 350 applicants for a civil service test. In recent years, that number has dwindled to only a few dozen. He suspects that society’s perception of public⁢ safety and ​service​ may have changed, leading to a decrease in interest in the profession. rnrnThere is a pressing need for new firefighters, with‍ eight‍ current vacancies and six retirements set for ⁣2024. ​Despite‍ this, call volume is expected to exceed‌ 20,000 ⁢this year, a drastic increase from the 5,500 calls the‍ department received when Mareno first joined. rnrnUnder the terms of the proposed position, successful trainees will meet the department’s requirements upon completion of training, while those who do not will be released ⁣from ⁣their position. Mayor Gary McCarthy adds that the⁢ union has agreed to‍ a lower pay ⁢rate for trainees in order to make the training process more affordable. This change will ⁣allow‍ them⁢ to identify potential candidates and provide them with the necessary training to join the‌ department.

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Kiara Thomas
Kiara Thomas
I uncover quirky and compelling stories. Always on the lookout for the 'why' behind the 'what'.
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