• Memphis Fire Department starting new initiative to train EMTs, paramedics to work for them

    By: Shelby Sansone

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Fire Department is starting a new initiative to get trained EMTs and paramedics to work for them.

    Director Gina Sweat told FOX13 it is called the Lateral Hiring Initiative.

    “We want to give young people an opportunity that want to get that experience, who want to work for a big department like Memphis, and they can come in and help us immediately,” she said.

    They’ll offer the certified firefighters a six week training course instead of a normal 13.

    “This program is a fast track program for people who have already got that training,” Sweat said.

    Sweat said they’re targeting people from all over the country, but will need to have certain qualifications.

    “They don’t have to work in the state of Tennessee, but they have to be eligible for reciprocities through the state of Tennessee through their Tennessee Firefighter Certification,” she said.

    Right now there are 1606 firefighters at MFD, and 338 are paramedics. They will be fully-staffed at 1624, but want to add 50 more employees by next year.

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