Moline Fire Department feels impact of labor shortage on International Firefighters’ Day, recruiting more

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 6:32 PM CDT
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MOLINE, Illinois (KWQC) - May 4th is International Firefighters’ Day and local departments are eager to fill positions.

A shortage of firefighters and paramedics is causing current employees to work overtime at Moline Fire Department.

“Each shift has at least one opening if not two. Then you have vacation, sick time, so there is a lot of overtime going around and it does stress the staff out when they’re working two days in a row, 48 hours, and don’t get more than one day off. It does make it really difficult,” said Travis Noyd, Deputy Chief at Moline Fire Department.

Noyd says the shortage is not just a Moline or Quad City problem but a nationwide shortage.

“Back when I tested, that was way back in the day twenty years ago, there would be hundreds of people that tested. So, suddenly within the last two to four years, why its changed - if I knew that answer I would be a millionaire because then we would know how to recruit. So, for some reason, people turned away from it and people just aren’t looking for this job anymore,” said Noyd.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates employment for firefighters is projected to grow eight percent by 2030. About 27,000 openings for firefighters are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Noyd says they can’t pinpoint the reason for the shortage.

“Maybe the world is just not a hands-on world as much as it used to be. It’s a lot more digital, technological world that we live in and maybe the hands-on things are just not what people are looking to do,” Noyd said, “I think with COVID a lot of people have adjusted to working at home and have realized that they can do that and it’s more convenient and easier and to physically come into the workplace has turned into not the thing to do.”

The application process is open for full-time firefighter/paramedic and firefighter/pre-hospital registered nurse (PHRN). Applications will be accepted April 29, 2022 – May 27, 2022. Moline Fire Department has multiple immediate openings. All fees are waived to apply and test for Moline Fire Department. You do NOT need to be licensed as an EMT-Basic, EMT-Paramedic or Pre-Hospital RN to apply. The following are the minimum requirements for testing at Moline Fire department:

  • Citizen of the United States
  • Be at least 20 year of age to test and 21years of age at time of conditional offer
  • Under 35 years of age (see website for list of exemptions)
  • 20/20 corrected vision
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Valid CPAT card needed by August 1, 2022 (local test available June 4 – July 23 - see website for more details)

To be hired you must be licensed in the State of Illinois as an EMT-Basic or a registered nurse less than two (2) years from obtaining a pre-hospital RN license or as an EMT-Paramedic or a pre-hospital RN. Salary and Benefits offered by the Moline Fire Department:

Salary for entry-level firefighter/paramedic and firefighter/pre-hospital $53,190. After obtaining paramedic licensure/PHRN and completing the probation period, salary increases by a one-time annual amount of $5,000. Paramedic/PHRN licensure pay of $1,560 annually after probation. Financial assistance up to $5,000 for paramedic classes. Pension (IAFF Local 581). Medical, dental, and visio. Paid time off. Deferred comp and ROTH IRA. Flex spending plan and life insurance.

You can apply for a position here.

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