Farmington firefighters are refilling their ranks
With 11 retirements and resignations last year, the Farmington Fire Department is going through a bit of a personnel change, to say the least. But it's a change chief Tim Pietsch is comfortable with.
"It (2009) was the year of retirements," said Pietsch. "It started just after the first of the year, then it seemed like there was almost one a month."
But along with all of those vacancies came quite a few requests. Pietsch gets calls on a regular basis from people who are interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter. In January, four new members were hired - they were introduced to the Farmington City Council at Monday's meeting - and another six or so will likely be hired in the next couple of weeks.
If the six candidates are in fact hired, the fire department will almost be at the staffing level it had been before last year's string of retirements and resignations began.
Pietsch recently found out that another longtime member plans to retire this year.
So will they hire again right away? It's hard to say, but Pietsch figures there could be more positions posted any time.
"The committee that we have will take a look at that," he said. "We take applications all the time. When we get an application for a candidate, we'll hang on to it. When we have a couple of openings, we'll call the candidates and see if they're still interested.
"We seem to get a pretty steady stream of applications," he added.
Along with all of the retirements came a few vacancies on the fire department's leadership team. Two of those positions were filled this year, as Justin Elvestad and Adam Fischer were promoted from lieutenants to captains. Now, Pietsch is looking to fill the two lieutenant posts that are open.
It's kind of a work in progress, he said. It always is.
"You think you're going to be set for a while and all of a sudden, you get a retirement or someone wants to resign. It always seems to be a transitional period. That's kind of the nature of the business we're in, anyway. We don't know when the next call is going to be, what it's going to be. We always have to adapt and change," he said.