Amarillo Fire Department starting own training academy

On Wednesday, the Amarillo Fire Department announced a major change to the City of Amarillo's firefighter hiring process. 

Beginning in January of 2022, the department will host a new fire academy and train successful applicants to become state-certified firefighters and basic-level emergency medical technicians. Candidates will be paid to train as they earn their certifications.

"The AFD's previous hiring practice was to hire candidates previously certified with firefighter and EMT-basic credentials. However, fewer firefighter hopefuls have applied to take the Civil Service entrance exam for the past decade. The AFD has not been fully staffed since 2019, which has increased overtime expenses.

"This change will allow the AFD to directly hire, train and certify candidates from the Amarillo area. Additionally, recruiting within underrepresented communities will improve efforts to promote diversity within the AFD," the AFD posted on Facebook.

Interested candidates must be between 18 and 35 years of age and possess a high school diploma or GED to qualify for testing.

"We anticipate giving the test in November.  We will announce the date as soon as we have it set.  We'll also be launching a new website in a couple weeks where you can register for the test.  In the meantime, you can e-mail for any questions," The AFD said. 

High Plains Pundit will have more details on this developing story as it becomes available. 

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