Working Iowa: Cedar Rapids Fire Department looks to hire

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 7:28 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Cedar Rapids Fire Department wants to add to its workforce. The Department recently made changes to its requirements for candidates wanting to be firefighters.

Cedar Rapids firefighters respond to a variety of situations. You could be rescuing someone from a confined space, water or even ice.

”It’s a very physically demanding job. There’s a lot of things that we do that are just like right now we could be standing here one minute, next thing you know you’re going to a fire,” said Tyler Smith, a Cedar Rapids Firefighter.

The majority of calls the department responds to are medical.

“The fire department in and of itself is highly driven on EMS calls. I would say 80-85% of what we do is EMS based,” said Smith.

It’s why the firefighters are at least EMS certified, something the department has longtime required. But it’s no longer a prerequisite to getting hired.

”In lieu of EMT certification we will accept if you are a 2 or 4 year college graduate or honorable discharge from the military after a 4 or 6 year career in the military or ongoing in a reserve capacity,” said Cedar Rapids Fire Chief Gregory Smith.

Those hired can get their EMS certification during their first year working. The department is hoping the change brings in a variety of candidates. You do need to be 18 and have a drivers license.

“For somebody who is a very hands on person just you’re able to build a lot of skills in a variety of areas,” said Chief Smith.

Applications are due August 4th. They can be found here.

Those hired can expect to work 24 hour shifts at a time which comes with a unique camaraderie.

“We are kind of like a big family. We have a lot of stations throughout the city, everywhere you go you’re going to meet familiar faces,” Smith said.

It’s a chance to help people every day.