Jackson Fire Department seeks new recruits

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson Fire Department wants you to join their team.

Jackson Fire Department

The department is experiencing a staffing shortage due to many retirements.

Like many employers nationwide, they too are struggling to find employees.

They currently have 12 vacant positions to fill and plan to start one large class after the first of the year.

“A person would have to have compassion for folks, a will to help the public. And it’s more than a paycheck. It’s more than an hourly salary. It’s about getting out in the community and really doing good and walking away with a sense of satisfaction that, ‘Hey, we did the best. We made a difference that day.’ And it’s not about one individual. It’s about a group of folks,” said Don Friddle, Deputy Chief of the Jackson Fire Department.

Friddle says once you fill out an application, take a few tests, and interview, you will go through the 12 week recruit program.

“Training is strenuous, but I promise you it’ll be the most rewarding 12 weeks you have. At the end you’ll look back and realize that you really did work and that you’re going to have a very awesome career,” said Jana Compton, an instructor for the Jackson Fire Department.

Compton says the training incorporates a lot of hands-on learning to ensure you are ready for when you go out for operations.

“With those 12 weeks, I make sure to incorporate everything you need to be ready to respond to any emergency that you might be called to. The guys that are in operations are noticing that the firefighters coming out of recruit school are better prepared for the job, and they’re ready to go to work. Immediately,” Compton said.

Sixth year firefighter Brady Stewart says the experience makes all of the hard work worth it.

Jackson Fire Department

“We don’t do this job for ourselves. We do it for the community. You definitely get a good sense of that you’re helping the entire community every time you go out of the station,” Stewart said.

Plus, while you are busy helping the city of Jackson, you are making life-long friends who experience the same training.

“I’m just going to be like a second home. You know, you’re going to have a family away from family. The people that you eat and sleep with 24 hours a day, 120 days a year. You know, they become familiar with you and you familiar with them. You know them. You can call them, you know, for help with pretty much anything,” said Latrell Billingsley, Public Education Officer for the Jackson Fire Department.

Billingsley says the job provides financial stability, a good retirement and pension, many off-days, keeps you in shape and constantly learning new skills. And it is all while benefiting the community.

“Our first week, it was like, okay. Now instead of working a regular eight hour shift or five hours, you’re here for 24 hours and you’re going to stay here. You can’t leave here unless everybody leaves here with you on a fire truck. So you know it was it was a pretty big culture shock. They become memorable. Those first few calls and firsts you have, experiences with the fire service and the people you meet and encounter, you don’t forget,” Billingsley said.

Billingsley says every day at work may start the same, but it will be something different every single day.

For more information or to apply to be a Jackson Firefighter, click here.

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