Amarillo, TX - If you've ever dreamed of being a firefighter. . .now is the time to act on it.
While the Amarillo Fire Department is still receiving applications many people are not meeting the requirements.
If you want to save lives as part of the Amarillo Fire Department you will need to meet some basic requirements first.
"You have to have, like I said, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Basic Structural Firefighter (Certification), you also have to be an EMT basic or higher and then also complete the CPAT, those are the basic requirements for entry," Captain Mikal Orr who is the Training Captain at the Amarillo Fire Department said.
However they have seen a decline of applicants meeting these requirements over the last few years which has made it difficult to hire new firefighters when others move on.
"Over the last five years we have hired a lot of people, you see the Baby Boomer Generation beginning to retire so there is a lot of voids there that need to be filled," Orr said.
But while the number of people qualifying has gone down, those who have recently become firefighters say even though it takes a lot of work it is a rewarding career choice.
"Be ready to work, it's not easy, I mean there's a lot of studying, a lot of cramming, you know gotta learn a lot of things, see a lot of things, just be prepared to put a lot of work and time and effort into it, but it's one of the most rewarding things that I've ever done," Jerrod Busse who is a Firefighter with the Amarillo Fire Department said.
The starting salary for a firefighter here in Amarillo is around $30,000, but they don't do their jobs just for the money.
"A lot of people say we don't get paid enough, but almost everyone of us is here because we want to be," Orr said.