The Richmond Register

September 13, 2013

Richmond seeking six new firefighters

By Seth Littrell
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — The city of Richmond is looking to hire at least six new firefighters, which would allow the fire department to have 20 people available on each shift.

Applications may be submitted online via the city’s website, and paper application may be obtained at City Hall, said Fire Chief Buzzy Campbell.

Applicants will be tested to ensure they have the physical fitness and agility necessary for the job, Campbell said. Those who pass the physical tests will be interviewed. Those selected from the interviews will be sent for state-sponsored Candidate Physical Aptitude Testing (CPAT).

Kentucky law requires all professional firefighters to have CPAT certification before they can be hired.

The city of Berea, which is searching for two firefighters, operates under a different state policy. Its applicants must have CPAT certification before they can be interviewed.

According to City Attorney Garrett Fowles’ interpretation of state law, Richmond may test and interview candidates before sending them to CPAT, Campbell said.

New regulations still make Richmond’s hiring  process longer, however, and Campell said meeting CPAT’s strict schedule may prove difficult for some candidates.

The city would like to hire the new firefighters as soon as possible, Campbell said, but his goal is to have all six hired by the city commission’s final meeting of the year.

Beginning next year, the fire department’s retirement program for new hires will change. They will have to work 27 years, instead of 25, before qualifying for retirement, among other changes.

With the new hires, the city will have 64 certified firefighters and an administrative assistant, giving the department a total staff of 65.

Seth Littrell can be reached at slittrell@richmondregister.com or 624-6623.