College Station Fire Department In Need Of Firefighters, EMS

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (By Hope Merritt KBTX) - As College Station continues to grow, so does the need for first responders. Lately, the College Station Fire Department has noticed a decline in people choosing to become firefighters or EMTs.

Ben Suttey is one of the newest members of the College Station Fire Department, he joined back in October.

“I served some time in the Marines and got out and then was trying to find a profession with cohesion and brotherhood that the military carried,” said Suttey. “That’s what I found here and you really can’t find that anymore.”

Right now, Suttey is a paramedic and is working to become a certified firefighter.

“I’m going through the TEEX fire academy. It’s almost like a school semester with an on the ground portion later in the year,” said Suttey. “But why I came to the College Station Fire Department is easy. Structure wise, they had everything in one house. Fire, EMS, rescue. A lot of opportunity for specialty divisions, technical rescue, vehicle extrication. It’s a good opportunity to serve your community on the first line. Especially in a growing area.”

A growing city like College Station means a growing need for first responders to cover all areas.

“There really can never be enough of us,” Suttey said. “911 calls aren’t slowing down. A lot of people don’t realize the capability EMS and firefighters have when we get to those 911 calls.”

Captain Stuart Marrs with the College Station Fire Department said firefighter and EMS shortages has led the city to allow a broader range of applicants.

“We have a certain number of staff that we need to have at the fire station everyday. So, we need to keep our rosters full of firefighters and EMTs,” said Marrs. “Because of this, right now the College Station Fire Department is hiring non-certified firefighter applicants.”

Marrs said the College Station Fire Department hiring non-certified people is something that hasn’t been done in a generation.

“We want to get people who live here in the Brazos Valley to become firefighters,” said Marrs. “This means we’re going to sponsor them through the training. It takes six months to eight months to be certified and then they’ll be assigned on the streets and running calls.”

Over 20 new firefighters will be hired this year, according to Marrs.

Non-certified applicants must have at least 12 college hours or military experience.

“Along with non-certified applicants, don’t forget, if you are certified in fire or EMS, you can still apply. We are still taking those applications and will still keep you in the process,” Marrs said. “We’re building fire station number 7 soon. We need those extra fire fighters and paramedics.”

The hiring process ends on Jan. 26. Top candidates will take a written test and physical ability test on Feb. 9.

For more information regarding the College Station Fire department, click here.