After receiving over 300 applications for a paid on-call firefighter position, the local department has picked their recruits.
According to Fort Saskatchewan fire chief Shawn McKerry, they first looked at how close to the station the hundreds of candidates lived. Since the job requires recruits to respond as fast as possible, he said it was important that they could be at the station and ready to go in an emergency.
"That eliminated about 150 candidates right away because they just didn't live within the geographical boundaries that we were looking for," McKerry explained.
Next, they looked at the qualifications and background of the each applicant, including their contributions in the community, and compared them to one another.
Once the list had been narrowed down to about 20 people, each candidate was interviewed, put through a physical fitness test and had a medical assessment done.
By the end of the process, a total of 12 recruits were chosen — 10 of whom are currently going through a four to five month training course.
"The service we're providing is very important and very critical to the community, so we want to make sure we've got valuable people that can provide that service at a moment's notice," McKerry added.
He said he expects their training to be complete by late June or early July. At that point, the department will hold a graduation for them and then they will be ready to respond to calls in the community.