Fire Department Seeking Recruits – Albuquerque Journal

October 15 – Clovis Fire Chief Mike Nolen has a problem. He wants to fill vacancies for firefighters in his department and the response has been slow.

“The fire department is currently in a significant hiring situation,” Nolen said. “In a department of 91, I miss 11 people.”

In his office on Thursday, Nolen said he lost four people as they became recent retirees.

“We (firefighters) are suffering as much as anyone in the United States when it comes to personnel shortages,” Nolen said.

Nolen couldn’t say what the exact hiring issue was, but he speculated it might be “it’s just a different generation.”

Nolen and his department let it be known that they need staff.

He thinks a problem with recruiting recruits is that the department is only required to list base pay at $12.71 an hour which, multiplied by 40 to represent a 40-hour week, comes to $26,436. per year.

Nolen said those interested in the position should read the full compensation and benefits description with the department, a package that equates to about $36,000 to $37,000 a year.

Nolen said the pay structure for a Clovis firefighter provides weekly overtime pay built into the hours, for EMT and Firefighter 1 and 2 courses at Clovis Community College, tuition is paid by the department, there is tuition reimbursement for the employee’s degree plan and regular salary increases. .

“There’s the added benefit of mentorship from your fellow firefighters,” Nolen said. “We build our firefighters here.”

Nolen said Clovis firefighters go through the same certifications as firefighters in New York, Los Angeles and other major cities.

“Unfortunately, they often take this formation and walk away,” Nolen said.

Lt. Gerald Kilmer, who participated in the interview with Nolen, compared being in the department to being in a family.

“The most important thing we’re looking for,” Nolen said, “we have a community of young people. We urge parents to send us your children.

Nolen stressed that the young men and women will be career-oriented, they will be surrounded by “good influences and we will pay for their college.”

“It’s the best full-time job in the world as well as the best part-time job,” Kilmer said. “People who don’t think you can support a family with this job, they haven’t looked at all the benefits.”

Kilmer described the work schedule, one in which the firefighter works two days on and four days off.

“You have something else to do or occupy yourself in those four days you have this,” Kilmer said.

Nolen said the job essentially requires only one daily commute per week, reducing vehicle fuel expenses.

“We have people in the department who live in Lubbock and Amarillo and commute to Clovis,” Nolen said.

More information is available on the department’s website:

“There are so many incentives that it’s hard to list them all,” Nolen said.

“Working for the department,” Kilmer said, “I don’t feel like I ever worked. There are things you wanted to do when you were a kid, you do them here.


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