Rochester Fire Department begins Spring Rookie Academy

(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Fire Department is welcoming its four recruits this spring.

The recruits will begin a 10-week rookie academy that includes fire rescue, EMS, and hazmat training. They will also spend time in the classroom but there is also a lot of hands-on work ahead. That work includes training in rope rescues and getting used to different fire conditions.

"Once they get through the 10-weeks and are sufficiently trained, they will go to on shift," said Jeremy Dostal, training captain with the Rochester Fire Department.

"So then they will start working the 24-hour shifts, they will be assigned to a crew, captain on that crew, whether it be an engine or a truck company, and continue from there."

Rochester Fire has a hiring process every two years. That process involves an application, interviews, and then a hiring list is put in place. For those who might feel discouraged because of the application process, one of this year’s recruits has some words of advice.

"When I first got my fire degree, it took me about five years of working other jobs, and testing all over the country before I got my first job," said Brandon Dietz, one of the department’s recruits.

"It’s highly competitive. It’s very difficult, but just keep trying, just keep testing, eventually, it will all work out."

All of the recruits have their state fire one and two certifications as well as national EMT certifications.

The academy goes through the beginning of June.