For the first time in more than five years, the Albany Fire Department and the 9-1-1 center are both fully staffed.
The Albany Fire Department's recent class of 12 trainees completed their ten weeks of training, are now certified. When they start full duty next Monday, all 153 firefighter jobs will be filled. The 9-1-1 Center also has 9 new dispatchers, which fills the center's employee roll at 39.
Chief James Carswell says full staffing means fewer overtime hours and less stress, as well as improved safety for emergency responders. "Obviously the fire doesn't care how many employees. It's going to take the same amount of workload regardless if there is 3 or 6. And so by being full strength that means there is less work for any individual, which becomes a safer operation for everybody," said Carswell.
Chief Carswell said he does not know how long it has been since the Albany Fire Department had 100 percent staffing, but it is the first time since he became Fire Chief 5 years ago.
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