It was a busy couple of days at the CO State meeting in C-Springs this week. Treasurer Blehm, VP Whitesides and myself spent a lot of time talking to other locals across the state, discussing current issues facing all of us. Specifically, we researched topics such as: Recruiting & Retention, Minimum Staffing Levels, Station Rotations, & MOU implementation, just to name a few.
We made a conscious effort to spend more time discussing these issues with departments such as: Greeley, Poudre, Pueblo, & Castle Rock, in an effort to compare “apples to apples” so to speak.
Below you will find our notes on the subject of “Hiring & Recruiting”. The intent of this research is to get a pulse on the rest of the state, and what they are doing to combat recruiting and retention issues.
Hiring & Recruiting
Many/Most departments across Colorado are seeing the same challenges that we are, in terms of recruiting, hiring, and keeping good Paramedics.
Here are the numbers from two recent hirings in March & May of 2016:
South Metro– Open recruitment, Looking for 10 FF/PM
40 show up for test
27 pass written
10 pass practical ALS Skills
4 Still left in process
North Metro- Open recruitment, Looking for 5 FF/PM
57 applicants through DRCOG list
17 passed written test & practical ALS Skills
17 still left in process.
Quality of the candidate pool is lower than desired.
Seeing very few numbers of applicants when requiring EMT or PM certification (50-60 at best).
Forward thinking beta test…
Pueblo just Received 650 + applications when they dropped the EMT/PM certification requirement.
They are going to focus on finding good “long term employees” with or without EMT certs.
Once they rank the list, and cut the 650 applicants down to the top 100, they will rank those 100, then they will hire from that list, and run them through academy, and then require that they become EMT-B before 1 year, and then require them to be EMT-P before 4 years.
They would like to become an all EMT-P department in the future. They are looking at taking over transports.
Pueblo does not have any vacancies, as they run a test every 2 years, and consistently have an eligibility pool awaiting a pueblo fire academy.
South Metro will be hiring 100 Firefighters over the next four years. It sounds like they are going to drop their requirements to EMT-B.
C-Springs has an academy of 14 currently, and will be hiring 24 in near future for opening of new station.
West Metro has an academy of 48 currently.
Castle Rock will be hiring 10 new Firefighters to staff their new station in 2017.
Half a dozen other departments stated that they are either hiring currently, or going to be hiring in the near future. Most, if not ALL of these departments communicated to us that they are most likely going to lower the minimum requirement to EMT-B in order to get more applicants, and cast a “broader net”. By rough count, an estimated 100-200 Firefighters will be hired over the next 12-24 months by departments on the front range.
This is what we will be competing with.
DRCOG System will be going away.
We have passed this information on to GJFD administration & HR, so that they are aware of the pulse in the state.