AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Fire Department is fully staffed for the first time in several years after completing the first fire academy.
For the past several years AFD firefighters have worked a lot of overtime to ensure that shifts are covered, and the community is properly served. Now that AFD is fully staffed the department is looking forward to the future.
“It’s an exciting feeling everybody’s excited to get some new fresh blood on the trucks and start filling in those shifts for the guys and the girls on the on the trucks that we currently have,” said Jeff Justus, Public Information Officer. “It’s been hard just to even take off and take a vacation for some of our firefighters because we just have to have people on the trucks, we can’t shut down stations, if we’re shorthanded.”
Recruits in the Fire Academy must complete extensive training that includes fire, hazmat and emergency medical services training.
“The biggest part of their training is the emergency medical training, and everybody passed 100% pass rate on the national registry EMS test. So that’s a huge deal,” stated Justus.
AFD is set to start its new academy in January and has been authorized to hire 30 new people. The department is anticipating the building of Station 14.
Justus continued, “15 of those are going to be new hires to fill in the new station 14, we currently have 13 stations but the city has authorized us to go ahead and over hire for in anticipation of building a new station 14. Then the other 15 for that Academy are just simply because every year we lose about 15 people.”
As of now, there is no specific location for Station 14 but according to Justus, it will likely be near the hospital district.