Davenport Fire Department swears in 10 new firefighters, while other QCA departments share recruiting efforts

Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 6:12 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Quad City area fire departments on both sides of the river are working relentlessly to bring in new hires as they claim overall interest in joining the public safety field has steadily declined over the last few years.

Some area fire departments, like the Davenport Fire Department, say they’re finally beginning to see their recruitment efforts pay off, while other QCA fire departments like Moline Fire Department, East Moline Fire Department and Muscatine Fire Department share their recruiting efforts to bring in the next round of fire fighters and EMS workers.

Officials with the City of Moline Fire Department say they’re willing to do whatever it takes to bring in new candidates.

“We’ll get you through basic class, we’ll get you through paramedic class, and we’ll send you to the fire academy,” said Moline Fire Department, Dep. Chief Travis Noyd. “Those are the three educational steps that we start off with initially.”

Similarly, just up the road in East Moline, the East Moline Fire Department has several trainees working hard at the academy to join the force when the time comes.

East Moline Fire Lieutenant Mike Rettig says it’s not a quick process to get candidates ready for the field.

“It starts off with the academy, around seven weeks down in Champaign, Illinois and then from there you have to get your paramedic license within two years of being hired,” said Ltd. Rettig.

So what does it take to become a fire fighter? After the standardized tests, candidates will then take the CPAT to determine their physical abilities, Muscatine Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Hartman explains.

“It’s the same one that all the other fire departments in this area use,” said Assistant Chief Hartman. “As we have physical tests, we also have an online written test and then from there we do a background check and then interviews.”

Additionally, a consistent that all of these QCA fire departments say they need are hardworking individuals willing to help protect and serve their communities.

Among those willing to serve the community are Davenport Fire Department’s newest hires, 10 firefighters who were sworn in at Wednesday night’s city council meeting.

“We have the privilege of actually swearing in ten of our new firefighters. they started with the city back in December,” Davenport Fire Chief Michael Carlsten said. “They went through the eight week academy and then after completion of the academy they were assigned to a 24 hour shift now its a time for them to celebrate with their families and formally present them to the mayor and the city council and its always a special moment for these individuals.”