Archived Story

Alexander City seeks firefighter recruits

Published 9:41pm Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ask a firefighter and you will likely hear – firefighting is not for everyone.

As the saying goes, they run into burning buildings when others run out.

But the Alexander City Fire Department is currently searching for applicants willing to rush into the flames.

ACFD is looking for applicants to become part of their part-time program.

“We have 10 total spots in our part-time program, and we currently have two of those slots open,” said Capt. Reese McAllister.

No experience is required, though applicants must be 18 years or older and have a high school diploma or GED.

“We have capabilities to be able to teach them right here at home at Station 2,” McAllister said. “We are going to give them the experience – you don’t need to know how to fight fires.”

Deputy Chief Gary Poe said that applicants just need “the desire to help people.”

“Those who don’t really care about helping people don’t tend to last long,” Poe said.

Applications are being accepted now, though McAllister said that those interested can also attend a meeting at Station 2 on March 29, starting at 6 p.m. The meeting will give interested persons more information and help them to begin their process toward being a firefighter.

“If someone wants to go ahead and get started, they can come up here and we can get them started in the right direction,” McAllister said. “Until they take the CPAT (Candidate physical agility test), there is no use in interviewing them.”

Those who choose to get the process going before March 27 can go ahead and see what the CPAT entails and schedule a time for the test.

The test is quite vigorous, McAllister added, and includes a portion where candidates walk on a step machine with 75 pounds loaded on their back, hands-on fire activities such as hauling hose and going through underground tube mazes.

“It is an extremely hard 10 minutes,” Poe added.

There is no top age limit for firefighter candidates, as anyone over the age of 18 that can pass the CPAT will be considered.

If an applicant is accepted into the part-time program, they will go through fire training and begin work for ACFD for 29 hours a week.

Seniority doesn’t mean anything, Poe said, as firefighters are bumped form the part-time program into full-time work based on their hard work.

McAllister said a career in firefighting offers many benefits, as full-time employees receive state retirement, have plenty of room for internal advancement, and earn one year extra in state retirement for every five worked.