New class of 42 Akron Firefighters start training today - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

New class of 42 Akron Firefighters start training today

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AKRON, OH (WOIO) -

A new class of firefighters started training Monday. The addition of these 42 firefighters brings the Akron fire department up to 361 sworn members.

The new class includes 7 African Americans, 1 Hispanic, and 34 Caucasians, of whom 39 are male and 3 are female.

Of this group of 42, 26 are military veterans, providing employment opportunities for those who have already served our country to now continue to serve their community.

The 42 new hires are possible due to the fact that the City applied for, and received, a 2012 SAFER grant which is being used to fund 38 of the 42 new firefighters.  

SAFER grants are designed to provide funding directly to fire departments to help them increase the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in their communities. 

"I want to thank Councilman-at-Large Jeff Fusco, Council President Garry Moneypenny, and Councilman Ken Jones, for taking time the time to travel to Washington to petition for these SAFER grant funds, so that we can hire more firefighters," said Mayor Plusquellic.

In early February, 1,041 candidates took Akron's fire entrance examination, which occurred over four sessions and two days.   Upon passing the written test, the new firefighters had to also successfully complete a physical skills test, medical and psychological tests, and a comprehensive background investigation. 

The duration of the time these new firefighters spend in training prior to being assigned to fire stations will depend on whether they have had prior firefighter certification and experience.  Those with prior certification will have a shorter training period before they can function on the City's fire and EMS units. 

"The entire Fire Department is very excited about this influx of new firefighters," noted Fire Chief Robert Ross.  "These new members are the future of our department. I am certain that everyone will do their best to ensure these new firefighters are well trained, well equipped, and mentally prepared to continue the excellent service the Akron Fire Department provides to the citizens of our great city."

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