Last month, the Statesboro Fire Department was notified that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had awarded a $2.1 million SAFER grant to hire 12 new firefighters. Along with approved positions funded for the current fiscal year by the Statesboro City Council, the department now is looking to fill 19 positions.
So, Fire Chief Tim Grams decided he would try something new to recruit firefighters: the Statesboro Fire Department will hold open interviews for anyone interested in joining the department.
“This is the first time our department is conducting open interviews,” Grams said. “Our goal is to provide folks interested in our firefighter position ample opportunities to come in at a time convenient for their schedule.”
Grams said interview sessions are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday and, finally, on Wednesday, April 12.
Interviews and physical agility testing will be available on a first-come first-serve basis from 8 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on those dates.
For questions or to pre-register and schedule a specific interview time, contact the Statesboro Fire Department by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (912) 764-3473.
In a release Tuesday, Grams said anyone planning on taking part in an interview should bring a copy of their driver’s license, birth certificate and education transcript (i.e. high school diploma, G.E.D. or college transcript) with them.
Interested applicants can either apply online at www.statesboroga.gov or visit the Statesboro Fire Station #1 to 24 West Grady Street on one of the three testing dates mentioned above. The department will have computers set up to complete the application process.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response award of $2,108,938 announced Feb. 9 will cover 100% of the salaries and benefits of 12 firefighters for three years.
“Twelve is certainly going to make a substantial impact and give us those resources that will be extremely beneficial in delivering fire services,” Grams said las month. “This will give us enough personnel to where we will have 20 on each of the three shifts and ultimately raise the number of firefighters on each apparatus at any given time.”
From its two stations, the all-professional Statesboro Fire Department operates four companies of firefighters, one for each of the three regular fire engines plus a “tower company” for the big truck with the aerial tower and bucket. Each requires three alternating shifts, on duty for 24 hours and then off for 48.
“Where that 12 came from is it gives us four additional folks on each of the shifts, spread out over those four companies that we run, and it just puts us in a much better position as this community grows – and you know, we’re experiencing a ton of growth – to meet the needs of that growth,” Grams said.
The SAFER grant allowed the SFD to expand its authorized force of front-line firefighters from 48 to 60.
“Obviously one of the top priorities for the department right now is recruitment and hiring and filling these vacancies with the best possible candidates,” Grams said in February.