MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — The Morrisville Fire Department is hosting its final open house Saturday as it looks to get as many applicants as possible for open positions.
The department has held open houses since last month to give those interested a better idea of what it’s like to become a firefighter.
Chief Nathan Lozinsky says he’s hoping to build and prepare the department for the future,
“Good attitude, empathetic, and we can teach you everything else,” Lozinsky said.
As the community has continued to grow, the department has focused on engagement and outreach to get more people interested in applying.
“We’re not looking to get certified individuals necessarily here, but it’s really trying to get a really diverse applicant pool,” the chief explained.
These efforts come as Morrisville has several positions they’re looking to fill, something not unique to the community.
Last year, Raleigh looked to fill its largest staffing shortage in 25 years, and just last month, Durham said it was looking to hire 50 firefighters.
Currently, Morrisville has six open positions.
“It’s a lot for us, so it takes a lot of effort to get a recruitment and an academy going with a department our size,” said Lozinsky.
For just the second time, the department is looking to fill these positions with a fire academy, which is tentatively scheduled to start in August.
“We haven’t had a mass rush of individuals that have left, but we’ve hold on to these open positions to gather enough to have an academy. Because if not, we are just going to have to hire certified firefighters, and that is not really casting the net that we want,” Lozinsky said.
Lozinsky added the academy process helps diversify the workforce.
“The biggest benefit is, we are really casting that broad net in our community to get as many applicants as we can, not just this sort of historical fire service individual,” he said.
Those who go through the process and sign on will receive a $1,500 bonus, something the department has never offered before.
“We’re trying to remove as many barriers as we can to get everybody to apply,” he said.
Applications close May 24. At the beginning of next month, applicants will complete a physical agility course, which has been altered to a pass/fail timed system in order to remove more barriers and encourage more applicants to get through.
Job offers are set to be extended in July, with those who sign on graduating from the academy next February.