Kingsport Fire Department looking for new firefighters as several approach retirement

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Kingsport Fire Department will soon open applications for new firefighters.

This comes as multiple firefighters are scheduled for retirement in the coming years.

10-15 firefighters will be up for retirement – so the department is looking for new talent to join the team.

It’s a department that’s been around since 1917.

To get hired – there’s written and physical tests applicants have to pass. Then – an interview and the department creates a hiring list.

If you pass that – you move on to rookie school.

The department says firefighters learn everything from suppression, extriction, and types of rescue, in rookie school.

“We’re looking for someone who maybe has a little bit of experience fighting fires, they don’t have to have that experience. But somebody willing to do some hard work,” Kingsport Fire Department Public Education Officer Barry Brickey said.

The department said it’s crucial to be fully staffed.

“A lot of people coming in for events like FunFest coming up, and then like the race at Bristol, we work together with the different department throughout the region,” Brickey said.

22-year-old Andrew Zachariah Hammonds joined the team two months ago.

“This is just an admirable career where I’m able to make a difference in people’s lives,” Hammonds said.

Captain Ava Forbes joined 24 years ago. She was promoted to captain this year.

“Being the only female on the line is not a new thing to me, a different thing to me, I’m just basically one of the guys. I would love to see more women interested in this position,” Captain Forbes said.

She added that they’d like to see people come in who are willing to put in the work to do the job.

It’s a department that’s long served the Kingsport community. Now – they’re looking for people who want to make an impact on their community.

“We’ve served the City of Kingsport for 102 years and we’d love to serve them for 102 more,” Brickey said.

We’re told the starting pay just went up to around $30,000 annually. The department also offers benefits and a retirement plan. Uniforms, equipment and training are also paid for.

You can apply online at kingsporttn.gov starting Saturday.

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