AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Big changes are coming to the Amarillo Fire Department!

Starting in January of 2022, AFD will begin to host a new fire academy, resulting in major change within the City of Amarillo’s firefighter hiring process.

The upcoming academy will help train successful applicants to become state-certified Firefighters and Basic-level Emergency Medical Technicians.

“The Amarillo Fire Department is very excited to sort of change up how we go about hiring people,” said the Amarillo Fire Department’s Community Liaison, Jeff Justus.

Candidates will be paid to train as they earn their certifications.

“The academy itself should last approximately six months to get everybody through it, and get all those certifications, and then they’ll start riding trucks,” stated Justus.

Prior to this, AFD’s hiring practice was to hire candidates previously certified with firefighter and EMT-basic credentials. However, fewer “firefighter hopefuls” have applied to take the Civil Service entrance exam for the past decade.

In fact, in a press release from the Amarillo Fire Department, it is noted that AFD has not been fully staffed since 2019. As a result, this has increased overtime expenses.

“We’ve gotten fewer and fewer candidates signing up and taking those entrance exams. So, this is a way for us to increase the amount of people that show up and take our tests, and that we can put on our fire trucks.”

Justus shared that starting pay for AFD will be anywhere between $43,000-$46,000. He continued to explain, “It will be between $43,000-46,000 a year and you’re guaranteed step increases for the first six years. So within six years of starting, you could be making $65,000 to $70,000 a year for the Amarillo Fire Department.”

As of next week, AFD will be launching its new website,

For now, Justus shared that the public can email:, and that will put you on their list.