By Marisela Burgos – ABC Action News
TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Fire Rescue needs to hire more firefighters before the end of the year.
The department has already hired about 30 firefighters, but the chief said they need to fill about 50 additional positions.
“I tend to look at this as a calling where you absolutely get to do a job where you’re responding to your community at its worst possible time,” Tampa Fire Chief Tom Forward said.
Chief Forward said there are a number of reasons why they need to fill so many positions. For example, there are people who are retiring and they’ve expanded their services to MacDill Air Force Base and the airport.
The chief also said the department is opening a new fire station to meet the demand which will service New Tampa and Tampa Palms, which are growing.
“We really, really want the best employees we can get,” Chief Forward said.
Chief Forward is not worried they will get enough candidates even though the number of applications is low and nowhere near the amount they need to fill the positions they have open. He said they want between 300-500 applications to choose from.
“The positions will be filled because we have a job to do,” Chief Forward said.
Bernard Aris, 28, is a recruit. He said he will complete his training in about a week. His passion for this career began when he was 12.
“I watched my grandmother..she…she had a stroke right in front of me and the firefighters/paramedics that attended to her care, they were just amazing. The care that they provided, it just opened a new world to me,” Aris said.
If you would like more information about the positions, go to https://www.tampagov.net/fire-rescue/info/employment-opportunities, scroll down and click on ‘current employment opportunities.’