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Ignite Your Journey: Applications open to join Huntsville Fire & Rescue through Dec. 17

Published on November 24, 2020

Photo of firefighters in uniforms in front of the truck in the station

The Huntsville Fire & Rescue department is seeking highly motivated and community-driven individuals to join its ranks.

With the announcement of a second round of hiring this year, the department responsible for stabilizing emergencies is looking to hire approximately 20 new team members. Primary responsibilities range from putting out fires to conducting rescue operations and keeping the public safe in numerous ways.

“The job of keeping our residents safe is sacred,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “The women and men of Huntsville Fire & Rescue are elite, caring and brave individuals with a heart for service. As pillars of our public safety infrastructure, these professionals are the backbone of our community and I look forward to welcoming those who are selected.”

Huntsville Fire & Rescue Chief Howard McFarlen emphasized the importance of making sure this hiring class is representative of the broader Huntsville community.

“When our citizens look at their Fire & Rescue department, it’s important they see people that look like them,” McFarlen said. “We’re stronger when we have representation in our department from every background, every race and every socioeconomic status.”

The department is taking intentional steps to bring the best candidates with the strongest character on board. To accomplish this, Huntsville Fire & Rescue has dedicated a recruiter to the effort – Driver/Engineer Cory Green, a Huntsville native who has been with the department for nine years.

“We’re a family here,” Green said. “We do what we do for the citizens of Huntsville. There is nothing more meaningful than knowing every day when we come in to work, we have the ability to change the entire course of someone’s life for the better.”

The recruitment effort for Huntsville Fire & Rescue includes launching a new website, JoinHuntsvilleFireandRescue.com, which is dedicated to explaining the hiring process and helping candidates succeed. Social media outreach, videos and an increased presence at job fairs and hiring boards are all elements of the plan.

Another key element of Fire & Rescue recruitment is communicating the diversity of the job itself, which is more than fire suppression, according to Deputy Fire & Rescue Chief Wesley Ogle.

“A lot of folks still think that fighting fires is all we do,” Ogle said. “While fire suppression is a critical part of the job, we’re hoping to get the word out about the other important functions of our department.”

Throughout their career, Ogle explains, Huntsville firefighters may choose to participate in in a variety of teams including Hazmat, Heavy Rescue, Fire Prevention and Code Enforcement, Honor Guard/Pipes & Drums or becoming an instructor in the Training Division.

“A big part of the job is providing emergency medical care to those in need, Ogle said. “Many days a firefighter finds themselves doing any combination of these functions with a strong sense of pride and dedication.”

No matter the specific career trajectory, for Fire & Rescue Chief McFarlen, the message is clear.

“If you want a rewarding career as part of a well-trained team that accepts the challenge showing up for citizens when they need it the most – Huntsville Fire & Rescue is for you.”