FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Three weeks after introducing its 88th recruit class, the Fort Wayne Fire Department announced Tuesday plans for its 89th.
Mayor Tom Henry and Fire Chief Eric Lahey announced the city will hire 26 new firefighters. The application process opened today and is available at fortwaynefiredepartment.org.
The 89th recruit class is expected to begin in early fall, with graduation in late December.
The recruits will be a different breed than the 17 who started the 88th recruit class last month, though. Lahey said a need has been identified to have a new department of firefighter/paramedic hybrids that will be fully integrated into the current work force and firehouses.
“Today’s launch of our paramedic hiring process is a great way to highlight our continued efforts to increase the level of service we provide to the public,” said Lahey. “It’s an honor to serve and protect our community. The individuals recruited for this class will have already demonstrated professionalism as paramedics and a strong desire to give back. We’re looking forward to great results from this class and the lifesaving skills they will bring with them.”
The application deadline is May 1. Applicants must hold either an Indiana Paramedic License or a National Registry Paramedic Certification upon application. Applicants must be 21 years old by May 1, and cannot turn 36 years old by Jan. 1, 2017.
“Being in position to add 43 new firefighters to our department this year is unprecedented, and it’s a show of commitment to ensuring the safety of residents and businesses,” said Henry. “Fort Wayne is moving in the right direction as a leader in providing excellent public safety services to our community.”
The city hopes the additional 26 firefighter paramedics will enhance the fire department’s level of fire service by ensuring four firefighters are on a fire apparatus at all times and fill positions that are vacated through anticipated and unanticipated retirements.