MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Huntsville Fire and Rescue held training sessions Tuesday and invited potential candidates to get a behind-the-scenes look into how they work and train.
“So a lot of times you can apply for a job and think, ‘Oh, they just run fires… medical calls, car accidents,” said Cory Green, the lead recruiter for Huntsville Fire and Rescue. “But we actually have a technical rescue group that actually does way more than the public even think of.”
Huntsville Fire and Rescue does more than just fight fires. Many are on special teams, like the heavy rescue team, who’s preparing to save a life.
“Today we’re just kinda working on a little bit of boat operations and then as well as pulling a victim out of the water that may have C-spine injuries or things like that,” said Capt. Allen Painter.
He went on to say the team has 10 to 15 water rescues a year, and the only way to get good at it is to practice.
“The more repetition you can get in and the more you can train on something, the less you have to think about it,” said Capt. Painter.
HFR Fire Chief Mac McFarlen says knowing how to execute a water rescue without having to stop and think about the next step is a matter of life and death.
“Even if you do a rescue like this, you’ve got one shot,” said Chief McFarlen. “It’s not like a lot of other things you’ll do in life. If you’re called to do this, you’ve got one shot at this and you’ve got to get it right.”
Because Huntsville is continuously growing, HFR is looking for recruits to join the team.
“With Huntsville annexing more land, we have to cover that land for protection and property purposes, but we need more people as of right now,” said Green. “I think right now is a good opportunity to do it because we haven’t had our numbers as high as we want, so your chances are higher of getting hired on.”
Green says they are looking for someone who is goal-driven with a high work ethic. He also says they need to have a heart for people and a passion for making a difference.
One of those potential prospects is Alex Mitchell, who is looking to follow in some big footsteps at HFR.
“I’m lucky enough to have a father that got to do it for 20 years,” said Mitchell. “I was born and raised in a firehouse and I absolutely love it each and every day.”
Mitchell says he’s looking forward to the comradery, as well as helping the community.
To apply, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, and a high school diploma or GED.
For more on the steps of the HFR hiring process, visit their recruitment website.
Cory Green says if any applicants have questions or concerns, they can contact him directly at his email: email@example.com.