Monday, May 20, 2013
Anchorage Fire Dept. Receives a $5M Grant
The grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help to protect jobs this year, as well as prevent layoffs in 2012.
It's been nearly four years since the Anchorage Fire Department pulled out ladders in its training facility.
The federal government recently gave the department a $5 million Safer Grant, increasing Anchorage's firefighter presence.
"We're looking at ways to get the people on board, the safer grant just couldn't come at a better time, when we're having to hire people anyway, get federal money to do it, and it allows us to get more people and get them on the street," Deputy Chief Chris Bushue said.
Over a hundred hopeful candidates showed up aiming to fill 29 positions. New candidates previewed some of the more demanding challenges they will face over the next few days.
But the physical ability test is not just about being strong or fast, candidates will also have to bring their mental A-Game Saturday because one wrong move could disqualify them from their test, or even in a real life fire situation, put lives at risk.
AFD Engineer and Test Instructor Nick Glorioso said some candidates crack under pressure.
"People who get nervous and do make mistakes tend to have a bit of a problem, in the job of a firefighter that's definitely something you need to overcome." Glorioso said.
"You need to be able to overcome the nerves of a high intense situation and so this actually is a good part of it as well."
But it won't be easy, with ten obstacles and only eight minutes and twenty-seven seconds to finish; the department is putting a lot of pressure on the candidates.
"Today is when they have to figure that out," Glorioso said.
"Tomorrow and the next day that's the time for them to follow orders and work as hard as they can to get through this as fast as they can, so that they can continue on hopefully throughout the rest of the process."
However, it is a test worth taking for people looking to join the Anchorage Fire Department.
Applicant Anthony Lindfors looks forward to the test on Saturday.
"It is a challenging course most definitely, but it's another challenge to be overcome, so it's a very good course," Lindfors said.
It's a course that everyone here knows is just one rung on the very long climb to become one of Anchorage's bravest.