By: Erin Smith
The Elizabethtown Fire Department successfully applied for and received a grant in the amount of $494,000 that will give the department the ability to hire five full-time firefighter positions.
Elizabethtown Fire Chief Nick West said the grant is called a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant is designed to help provide funding to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations to maintain or help them to increase the number of trained personnel.
Chief West said the department applied for the grant in March and was notified on August 5 they had received funding for five full-time firefighter positions.
The fire department began accepting applications for full-time firefighters on Wednesday, August 17, and will continue accepting applications through 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2. The duties and responsibilities will include but are not limited to responding to emergency calls for service, cleaning and maintaining station facilities, conducting required training evolutions, performing functions at community events, and preparing various reports and related documentation.
Applicants must have the following:
*NC Firefighter II certification, NC Hazardous Material Level I certification, NC EMT-B and CPR certifications are required.
*NIMS 100, 200, 700 and 800 are required within (6) months of employment.
*NC Emergency Vehicle Driver certification is preferred and required within (6) months of employment.
*NC Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator certification (Pumps and Aerials) is preferred and required within (1) year of employment.
*Possession of a valid Class A or Class B North Carolina driver’s license is preferred and required within (6) months of employment.
*Child safety seat certification is preferred and required within (2) years of employment.
*Fire Inspector Level I certification is preferred and required within (3) years of employment.
To apply, all applicants must submit a completed town of Elizabethtown employment application and a resume to the Elizabethtown Town Hall located at 805 West Broad Street, Elizabethtown, by 5 p.m. on Sept. 2.
Chief West said that once the positions are filled, it will allow the fire department to have three people on duty plus the volunteer responders. He added the additional personnel with help to ensure the department has adequate coverage on each shift.
Chief West said adequate staffing is vital when responding to emergencies and rendering the appropriate aid.
He said the additional paid staff allows the firefighters to attend more training classes, take vacations and to take part in more community events.
“We’re excited to get five more jobs for Bladen County,” said Chief West.