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15 new recruits accepted into 2013 Fire Academy

Juneau's fire department seeking people to join scene support program

Posted: December 5, 2012 - 1:04am

The fire department has wrapped up its recruiting effort for its fire fighting academy, but is still seeking volunteer firefighters and scene support personnel, especially for the Douglas District.

Capital City Fire/Rescue obtained 15 new recruits for its 2013 Fire Academy that will begin Jan. 9, 2013, according to Acting Division Chief Ed Quinto.

Quinto said 14 people turned in applications to be a volunteer firefighter and 13 of those were accepted into the academy. CCFR also accepted two people who were already in the Scene Support program and applied to become firefighters.

CCFR also recruited three new people for the Scene Support program.

The new recruits attended orientation at the fire station on Dec. 1.

The deadline to apply for this year’s fire academy has already passed. The five-month long academy, taught by Fire Training Instructor Nathan Young, is only held once a year.

But Quinto says the fire department is lacking volunteers in the Douglas District, and they’re hoping more people will apply for next year’s academy, or join up with the Scene Support program in the meantime as a way to get their foot in the door.

“We have some new recruits, but we’re still looking for new firefighters,” Quinto said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s a year-round thing. They may not be able to go to the Firefighter 1 Academy right now to be firefighters, but we (are looking for) people that can still fulfill the Scene Support program.”

Scene Support personnel assist with any tasks needed at the scene of the fire, including helping with equipment and ensuring scene safety. The only things scene support cannot do is put on an air pack and physically fight the fires, Quinto said.

Scene Support personnel have been around for as long as he can remember, Quinto said, but they were formerly called “Brown tags.” CCFR changed the name of the program to Scene Support just this year.

The Douglas District, which encompasses Juneau, Douglas and North Douglas, is low on volunteers, Quinto said.

The Douglas volunteer fire station is manned and operated by volunteers, but the station is not manned 24/7. Some live-in’s do reside at the station, but they work only during their assigned duty days and nights, Quinto said.

The station only has about 20 volunteers, of which only 10 or 12 are active. That’s not enough, Quinto said, noting a regular house fire requires at least 30 firefighters.

“People who live in Douglas or Juneau may want to consider volunteering because we’re always looking for additional manpower in that district,” Quinto said. “Because right now, we’re low.”

CCFR currently has somewhere between 50 and 60 volunteer firefighters, and about 36 career staff positions.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

Editor’s Note: Applications for both scene support and volunteer firefighters are accepted year-round. Those interested in applying can do so online at www.ccfr.net, or applications can be picked up at CCFR headquarters, 820 Glacier Avenue.

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