FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne Fire Department ended the hiring campaign on Wednesday. The goal was 300 applications, and 30 alone were submitted over Labor Day weekend.
The campaign looked different than in the past and gained more attention, with signs posted throughout the city, social media posts and ads running on TV. Chief Eric Lahey with the Fort Wayne Fire Department says, “We have attempted different processes, tried to implement different strategies and this year we kind of brought them all together so hitting it with news, media, campaign signs, and really using social media to our advantage.”
In order to be a firefighter in Fort Wayne, recruits have to have a high school diploma and be 21 by the time the application closes. Lahey says the most important quality to have is a heart for service. A written test, oral interview and physical test is also required.
“We know that having a diverse department is a department that builds trust with the community and we want to keep building trust with the community so diversity in all aspects, diversity in thought, diversity in background, diversity in ethnicity, diversity in gender is all important to us. We are sitting at about 30% of the total number of applications hold some sort of ethnic diversity and we’re considering that to be pretty good,” Lahey says.
FWFD is looking to hire 18 to 24 new firefighters in this next class.