LIBERTY COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Liberty County hosted a firefighter information meeting Monday night for people who are interested in joining their team. They have partnered with the Liberty County Career Academy and Savannah Technical College to strength their workforce.
Liberty County says the purpose of the meeting is to help fill open positions at the fire department. The Liberty County Career Academy’s CEO, Karisa Young, says the county has had a firefighter shortage for years.
Liberty County Fire and Emergency Services says right now, they have 35 members on their team. It takes 16 firefighters to run one fire station. They say the goal is to have about 75-100 firefighters to make sure they have adequate manpower.
Young says these interest meetings are open to adults. However, they are really targeting juniors and seniors in high school who can take dual enrollment. She says by the time students graduate high school, they will be certified in firefighter 1 and 2, emergency medical training, CPR, and other certifications.
Young says this program has been in the planning stages since the beginning of summer this year.
“When we heard Liberty County needed some firefighters, we said, ‘well let’s partner together.’ We found part of the issue is having local employees having to go through the certification process," Young said.
A part of that process means traveling out of town to Forsyth, GA for eight weeks to become certified. Young says this is something that could be a hardship for adults who already have full time jobs.
They hope having the courses local will make it easier and draw more interest, especially with students graduating from high school.
“After today, we will be going into the high schools, and we will have some more lunch meetings, and we will bring the firetrucks to the schools and they can meet with representatives as we continue to recruit and promote,” Young said.
Liberty County says they are looking to start these certification courses as soon as January.