Hibbing Fire Department Needs Firefighters

By KBJR News 1

June 15, 2012 Updated Jun 15, 2012 at 8:58 AM CDT

Hibbing, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - The Hibbing Fire Department is in need of more firefighters. They have one full time and three paid-on-call positions open. Department officials say they've received a lot less applicants than in past years.

"25 years ago when I started at the department we had upwards of 100 applicants for career [positions] and we probably had 20 or 30 every time we had a paid-on-call [position open]," said Hibbing Fire Chief, Scott Nehiba.

As of Wednesday, the department had only received six applications for all the open positions. Many of the firefighters work overtime to compensate for the staffing shortage.

"Not only are we working on our days that are scheduled, but we come in on our days off for overtime," said firefighter Ben DeVries.

Department officials estimate that the station responds to about 3,000 calls a year, most of which are medical-related. Firefighters say that being short four people impacts their work.

"You can bring the trucks there but if you don't have the people to operate the tools that are on the trucks, you have to typically wait for somebody to come in," said Battalion Chief, Eric Janklia.

Applications for both the full time and paid-on-call positions are due to the Hibbing Fire Department by Friday, June 15th. You can find the application on the City of Hibbing website or pick an application up at the Hibbing Fire Department.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.