Birmingham Fire & Rescue looks to hire more firefighters
Firefighters do more than put out flames at people's homes. They also handle crashes and medical calls. Birmingham Fire & Rescue wants to put more people in uniform.
There are between 30 and 35 jobs up for grabs. Supervisors watched 270 people give their all in an attempt to become a firefighter. It takes more than filling out an application and knowing how to aim a fire hose.
Reginald Anderson knows what it takes to be a firefighter.
"First of all, you have to have the desire," said Assistant Chief Reginald Anderson.
He's gone into fires for 29 years. He's now an Assistant Chief who oversees training.
Anderson is helping Birmingham Fire & Rescue add to its ranks.
"We have to just go through it and make a good determination on who we think can best fit into our organization," added Anderson.
Working firefighters put firefighter hopefuls through five simulated tasks. Some include pulling hoses, dragging dummies, turning on hydrants, working pulleys and climbing stairs.
"It will test your endurance. They try to get you winded before you get there. By the time you get there, it's pretty tough," said Firefighter Hopeful Edron lane.
Tough is a good word to use when describing how departments work to keep emergency medical technicians.
"That's a lot of what we do right now. We have 16 rescue units. We make a lot of emergency runs," added Anderson.
Jennifer Norwood works on an ambulance. She wants to grow into a career of putting out fires.
"It doesn't scare me one bit. I might be little. But, I love it," said Firefighter Hopeful Norwood.
Firefighter hopefuls also have interviews and a physical fitness test. A long-time firefighter told ABC 33/40 climbing the ladder is the hardest part.
Supervisors will hand over results to the Jefferson County Personnel Board who decides who is hired.