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Local fire department hosts hiring event Saturday

Saturday’s event addressed a nationwide trend of fewer people applying to be firefighters.
Published: May. 1, 2021 at 6:42 PM EDT
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OLD TOWN, Maine (WABI) - The Old Town Fire Department hosted an in person hiring event at their station on Saturday.

The event allowed interested candidates a chance to see operations, and talk with current Old Town firefighters about the job.

“We’ve had a fantastic pool of candidates. This was an initiative pushed forth by the employees here. They organized it, planned it, and have done an excellent job in executing it. They’re professionals, and they want to see more people come into their profession,” said Dep. Chief Chris Baker.

Saturday’s event addressed a nationwide trend of fewer people applying to be firefighters.

“It’s becoming very difficult. The increase on the services and the social pressures placed on people in public safety is becoming difficult. The pandemic did not help our cause.”

“The need is always great, the pandemic has not slowed anything down when it comes to EMS calls. We have stayed steady, and steadily climbed approximately 12% higher than we were last year with EMS calls, so we’re still staying busy,” said Taylor Haines, Old Town Firefighter an Paramedic.

Basic EMT certification is the only merit based requirement for applicants.

Deputy Chief Chris Baker says the department is really just looking for good people to join the team.

“Primarily what we’re looking for is someone with strong character, a good background that we can integrate into the team, that’s a team player. The skill set we can train, it’s the character and the nature of the individual that’s most important.”

The department currently has 18 firefighters.

They hope to hire 4 more in the near future, 2 more after that by July 1st, and possibly another 4 by the start of next year.

“We provide an exceptional service, they do fantastic work everyday, and work at a really high level as team players, which is the most important thing in critical emergencies. We just couldn’t be happier with the product we put out, we want to bring more people into that, and the fortunate thing is the employees we already have will help us achieve that.”

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