Tyler FD allowing community to apply to be fire fighters; first time in 13 years

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Updated: Dec. 16, 2020 at 11:51 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - For the first time in 13 years, the Tyler Fire Department is allowing non-certified fire fighters to apply for the civil service test.

Tyler FD Chief David Coble explains how the department is looking for applicants with hopes to increase diversity.

“Basically, we started a fire academy again.”

Coble says this program will allow non-certified fire fighters to apply to work on the front lines. A list of requirements are needed to be met in order to advance within the program. This academy is an approximate six-and-a-half-month tenure with a salary included. Coble says it’s to create an opportunity for anyone.

“What we’re doing this for, mainly is, we’re hoping for a little bit of diversification of the department. We sort of lack in diversity here in the city of Tyler.

The city of Tyler has ten fire stations across the city with 165 personnel. Currently the department has 153 certified firefighters. Of those firefighters, four are Hispanic, two are African American, one is Asian, and no female firefighters.

“What we’re hoping for is by increasing the pool of applicants, we will also increase the diversity of applications.”

Coble says having an academy is helpful because they’re moulding fire firefighters from the beginning. Firefighters with previous experience may do things a bit differently than what the city expects.

“You don’t have to break a mould that some other department has already created. With an academy you don’t have to do that. The only way they know to fight fire, the only way they know how to rescue is the way we taught them. So, basically you have a home-grown person. That’s the benefit, I wouldn’t say one’s better than the other one, but it’s a benefit of having your own academy.”

The application to apply opens on December 17.

“At the end of the day, this is still a dangerous job. It’s still a job that requires you to put a lot on the line.”

The deadline to apply will be on January 15, 2021 at 5 p.m. The Civic Service test will follow on January 26.

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