Park Ridge Fire Department short staffed, again
Updated: April 29, 2013 9:58AM
When the Park Ridge Fire Department hired three new firefighter/paramedics last fall, they thought it was the end of a year-and-a-half-long staffing shortage within the department.
But just four months later, the department is again faced with a vacancy.
One of the candidates hired last fall left the department during firefighter training to take a job with another community, said Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Sorensen. The other two candidates, Jeff Finn and Jesse McFarlin, completed training through the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy and graduated on March 15.
The Fire Department is now going back to its firefighter eligibility list, which was created last year to identify prospective hires.
“We have an academy starting April 15 and we hope to get the person hired by then,” Sorensen said. “If not, they have to wait until July.”
At one point this year, the department was down seven employees, the deputy chief said. Three were on leave for injuries, the three newly hired firefighters were at the academy, and one firefighter was still on military leave. Two of the injured members of the department have since returned and the other two individuals are expected back to work by the end of April, Sorensen said.
With the exception of the one new firefighter, no other members of the department left their jobs within the last year, Sorensen said.
In order to be fully staffed at all times, the department has relied on overtime.