For the first time since a class of new firefighters was inducted in 2009, the Los Angeles Fire Department will crank up the hiring and training of recruits. The numbers won't be big — 300 slots over the coming two years, says the Daily News. As many as 17,000 applications are expected.
The City Council gave the LAFD approval to begin the hiring process, and OK'd funding for a battalion chief and captain to oversee the program. The department expects to hire the first 150 firefighters in 2013-14.
"It gets to a point where our staffing shortfalls become more costly," said Battalion Chief Steve Hissong, who will be the recruitment section commander this fall. "It becomes more costly to hire overtime than it does to hire new recruits."
The department has 3,339 employees, according to the Personnel Department, but is losing approximately 100 employees per year due to attrition, Hissong said.
The thousands of applicants will be whittled down to five groups, each with about 60 people, who go through a 20-week program to become part of the hiring pool over the next two years.
LA Observed photo