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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Firefighter Recruitment and Background Checks

A Guest Blog by LMCIT Field Consultant Troy Walsh

Recruiting firefighters should be an
everyday task.
With the number of firefighters decreasing, and continued services increasing, fire departments are always looking for new firefighters. Many municipalities across the state are looking and actively recruiting firefighters to fill open positions and looking toward the future when our 20-30 years-of-service members retire.

How are you recruiting members? And what are you doing to make sure that you’re getting the best qualified applicants?

Firefighter recruitment is a top
There are a variety of ways to recruit members, such as social media, newspaper, fliers, banners, or even adding “Now Recruiting Firefighters” magnets to your fire trucks. Part of the message is that you need to recruit every day, on every call, and at every event. Whatever your process is, hopefully you are getting eager applicants that are going to be positive and ready to serve their communities.

Background Checks 
When we think of new firefighters, we budget for their training and to equip them with the proper turnout gear and PPE. We instruct them on the department’s policies and procedures for responding to calls. But how many of you are completing a criminal background check on your new applicants?

Troy Walsh
State Statute 299F.035 requires background checks on every firefighter recruit. When you are recruiting and hiring firefighters it is important to use a formal application process, and don’t forget that prior to hiring there needs to be a background check. Adding background checks to your application process, and having a written application process, will greatly reduce the risk of hiring an individual with a criminal history and opening up the city for liability claims. To read the statute, visit

Up Next: The New Police Liability Survey

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.


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