Rockdale County Fire Rescue is recruiting firefighters. The department hopes to hire about 10 firefighters by the end of the year.
“We are a little understaffed for different reasons-- retirements, firefighters moving to other careers or other departments. We are about eight people short and we have two people expected to retire in July, said RCFR Deputy Chief of Operations Joel Yonder, who announced the recruiting effort on June 10 at the Board of Commissioners meeting.
Job candidates must be willing to work in all types of weather and overnight shifts.
“You have to be willing to work 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shifts, so you will be away from your home and family for 24 hours at a time and that can be difficult for a lot of families if your shift is on something like Christmas or on a birthday,” Yonder said.
State requirements are: Being at least 18, having a good driving record, passing a criminal background check and having a high school diploma or GED. Candidates also must pass an agility test.
Fire Chief Dan Morgan says he hopes will receive as many as 300 to 400 applicants.
“From that pool of people, we expect 200 will go through a series of exams, 150 to 200 will make it through the physical agility test and 75 to 100 will make it to the interview process,” said Chief Morgan. “From that process, we ultimately hope to hire 10 to 12 people for entry-level positions. The hiring process is expected to last through October, with a tentative start date for those selected in early November. Because of the number of applicants expected and the amount of testing involved in the hiring process, it will take that long to select the best candidates.”
RCFR will host an open house for interested applicants on Monday, June 16, 1 to 8 p.m. at its headquarters, 1496 Rockbridge Road, Conyers.
This will be an opportunity for interested parties to ask any questions regarding the regarding the hiring process, the career as a firefighter, as well as any other questions they may have. There will be computers available with Internet connection so that anyone interested may apply for the position during the open house. There will also be human resources staff members present to answer any additional questions regarding benefits, or any other human resource type questions.
“This is something we are really excited about and we hope it goes over well with a large attendance. At the open house, we hope to meet people who are hard working, ambitious, are good at communicating with staff and people out in the community, as well as be eager to learn new things,” said Deputy Chief Yonder.
In March, Rockdale Commissioner Oz Nesbitt criticized Rockdale’s Fire Department after it hired16 firefighters, none of whom were African American.
Nesbitt says he hopes with the additional recruiting efforts such as the open house more candidates will participate in the hiring process.
“I am well pleased with the fire department’s leadership because they are going above and beyond to make these opportunities aware to everyone. These are great opportunities and by hosting the open house, passing out fliers and communicating with the media, the department is extending their hand to everyone in the community,” said Nesbitt. “What I really appreciate is that the fire department is looking in our own backyard for qualified candidates. It is no secret that the demographics in Rockdale have changed over recent years.”
The application period will be open through Friday, July 25. Applications will be available online at www.rockdalecounty.org. Interested men and women can also go to any of the county’s fire stations for more information.
For more information, call 770-278-8401 or 770-278-7575.