Albany Police, Fire jobs highly sought after - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany Police, Fire jobs highly sought after

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -Public safety jobs that were hard to fill just a couple of years ago now have hundreds of applicants. The Albany Fire and Police Departments report that very few of their employees are moving to other jobs, and lots of people have applied trying to get jobs.

It's been more than three years since the Albany Fire Department held a recruitment program. They have not hired a firefighter in more than a year, because most of their firefighters like Adam Wall like their jobs and plan to stay.

Wall said "I was a construction worker. And that's one of the main reasons why I came to the Fire Department. For the job security."

In the 1990's the Albany Fire Department would hire 20 employees a year. Now very few are leaving.

Deputy Chief Ron Rowe said "People are thankful to have a job, and there is really no where else to be looking right now. Nobody is hiring."

Just a few years ago the Albany Police Department was running a massive drive to recruit and hire Officers because they were so understaffed. Today Warren Ewings, a new graduate from Albany State and the Police Academy, is glad to have this job.

Ewings said "I just graduated from Albany State. My degree is in music, so this is as far away from that as you can get. But I saw the opportunity."

The Police Department says they receive about 50 job applications a week.

APD Recruitment Director Officer Brandi Chester said "We have people with Master's Degrees, all the way to students in college. So it's definitely a wide range."

The Fire Department has 228 job applications on file now, people from all backgrounds looking for jobs.

 Rowe said "From health care to construction, to retired personnel. Seems like everybody is trying to get some income now."

More than 10 percent of the Fire Department applications are from out of state. People willing to go anywhere it takes to get a steady job.

The Albany Police say their retention rate is also solid now, and are not sure when they will be hiring again.

The Albany Fire Department's starting pay is more than $32,000 a year. The average Albany firefighter has been with the department 14 years.

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