Fresno Fire hiring general public as service calls increase

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Helmet cam video brings us firefighter Rob Lee's vantage point of Wednesday morning's two-alarm fire at a southeast Fresno Car repair shop.

"To see fire behavior like that, to see almost an entire building is involved in fire, it makes you think of different things whether it be exposure issues, rig placement, water supply," Lee said.

More than 50 firefighters faced off with flames that tore through the business on Ana and Braley streets.

Lee says, "I've been with my crew for over a year now and we all know how each other works. We work as a unit when we arrive and we just go to work right when we get there."

But Lee says fighting fire is only part of the job.

"You never know what you're going to get when you show up to work and that's the beautiful thing about it. That's what makes it so exciting. When I was able to get my application into this department, it felt incredible just to have a shot at a job here," he added.

Now, they're giving that shot to the general public.

Fresno Fire PIO Shane Brown says, "historically people would need previous firefighting experience. this is a unique way to approach it to cast a wider net to get some of our own community members to join the team and we'll train them to be a firefighter. "

The goal is to hire 45 firefighters -- adding 14 daily positions, bringing daily staffing from 81 to 95 firefighters per day.

"We're busy. We're running our wheels off the rigs right now. Our firefighters are getting tired and beat up and the warm weather isn't even here yet," Brown said.

Since January 1 of this year, the department has already responded to more than 10,000 calls to service. More than 1,600 of those were fires.

Brown says, "We want people who always strive to achieve the absolute best they can do and we'll make a firefighter out of you."

The application period runs from April 1st - April 8th. For more information, click here.
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