LUBBOCK, Texas-– The Lubbock Fire Department announced they will start to certify their new hires in firefighter and EMT training. They also offered paid training for the first time. Chief Shaun Fogerson said they wanted to provide the opportunity to anyone and everyone the chance to be a firefighter, without training or money getting in the way.
Fogerson said they noticed they were not going to have enough staff for their new fire station opening next year.
“What we found was that over the years, our number of applicants has declined, and our interest has declined so we decided to make a change,” Chief Fogerson said. “Everyone that we train will be certified to the state level just as those for the last 20 years have been, but they’ll be certified by us.”
The certification process begins with an applicant attending and paying for firefighter school and EMT training on their own. Now, Chief Fogerson said this eliminated a roadblock for many.
“The certification before it was incumbent on the applicant to get that at their own expense, what that does is it precludes a lot of people,” Chief Fogerson. “A lot of people work, they have to support their family, they didn’t have time to go to school to gain that certification on their own, so now we’ll be doing that for them.”
Chief Fogerson said their hands-on training will provide an even better experience for soon-to-be firefighters.
“We’re not lowering our standards,” Chief Fogerson said.
Captain Philip Grandon said their new training will help develop skills to handle the job. They will be in and out of the classroom, on the truck, and learning medical terminology to earn their certification.
“There’s also a lot of physical fitness in this because this is a physically demanding job and we want everybody to be physically fit to be out, to go out there and serve the citizens at the best capacity,” Captain Grandon said. “It’s going to be six months of initial training in your classroom, but also doing the hands-on training, and then they’ll go out on shift for a little bit and then they’ll come back for paramedic training.”
Captain Grandon said although it’s a tough job, one thing is for sure. Those who are hired are training with the best of the best.
“You’re going to have the very best training and you will also have very well-trained firefighters working with you that are seasoned and experienced and are going to help you through whatever situation we come across,”
The application to apply for the next recruit class closes May 12. For more information on pre-requisite exams, eligibility, and pay/benefits, visit the LFR website.