Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On the heels of a graduating Recruit Class 2020-01 in October, the Hattiesburg Fire Department began its first academy for 2021 on Monday, Feb. 8 with Recruit Class 2021-01.
Like the Police Department, the Hattiesburg Fire Department has moved to hosting two recruitment classes per year to help increase public safety numbers for the department.
Currently, the department’s roster is fully-staffed at 120. However, Fire Station 9’s completion in early spring allows for an additional staffing need.
“It’s our hope to continue training quality firefighters who are passionate about serving our community,” said Battalion Chief Chris Carr, director of fire training. “Because we host our own academy, these recruits have an opportunity to learn the physical, mental and academic requirements necessary for a firefighter – but within the scope of what it means to be a Hattiesburg Fire Department firefighter.”
The academy is 12 weeks long and all recruits are trained to withstand the physical requirements of the job (extra gear weight in all weather types) along with the mechanics of being a firefighter. All training is amplified by acclimating each recruit to “the Hattiesburg Way,” which is rooted in service and integrity.
“We have the best first responders in the state right here in Hattiesburg,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “Being able to tap into the many who have come before us, our academy is able to produce quality recruits with a customized approach that is wholly Hattiesburg. We’re excited to see another class take its journey through these doors and the ultimate impact they will have on our community.”
This specific training approach is unique to Hattiesburg and it allows for each recruit to receive best practices for policing and an experience that is tailor-made for working in the Hub City.
All recruits receive a salary of $25,000. Upon graduation and depending on education level, salary is adjusted to $30,000 and $33,000 per year.
Additional benefits for recruits upon graduation include a pay-scale based on education and longevity, as well as continuing education opportunities with The University of Southern Mississippi, William Carey University and Pearl River Community College.
Currently, the Hattiesburg Fire Department is taking applications for its second recruit class of 2021. Interested recruits, can visit http://bit.ly/applytohfd for more details. The deadline to apply is March 12.