Fire Chief Sam Heaton said he will begin a recruit school Aug. 19 where he hopes to have a class of 25.
“Recruit school is when we hire new hires, they go through recruit school, and in recruit school one side of it is the fire training that they get, and the other side is the EMS skills that they get,” Heaton said. The school lasts about 28 weeks.
Heaton said he is in the process of final interviews for that class with the county’s human resources department still wrapping up some background checks.
That first batch has already completed the entry-level tests needed for consideration. A new test will be administered for a second batch of potential hires from Aug. 20 to Aug. 22.
“Now this new test that we’ll be giving in August will actually be setting up for the next class that will be starting in spring of 2014,” Heaton said. “In that case, we’ll be looking at 22 plus (hires).”
Starting pay is $38,355.
To be considered for employment, applicants must complete a written test, pass a physical ability test, an in-depth background investigation, a polygraph examination, a psychological examination, medical examination and drug screening.
About $60 million of the department’s fiscal 2013 budget of $70.3 million goes to salaries and benefits.
The department employs 683 personnel of which 650 are sworn firefighters.
“The dedicated men and women of Cobb Fire have done an incredible job through tough economic times over the last few years — at times with staffing at a very minimum,” Heaton said. “We appreciate the support of the citizens and the elected officials and we look forward to getting our staffing back to 2008 numbers so we can better serve our citizens and communities.”