WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — In 2022, the Warner Robins Police Department responded to nearly 8,000 calls.
With the population growing, Warner Robins Fire Chief Ross Moulton says they expect to answer 1,000 more this year.
They're looking for more firefighters to help answer the calls.
The nationwide shortage is hitting the City of Warner Robins. Chief Ross Moulton tells says in the last few years, they've seen fewer people showing interest.
"When I was hired in 1990, there were 110 applicants that applied for the job, for 10 positions," Mouton says.
Now, Chief Moulton says they're struggling to fill their 18 open positions.
'We've seen some retirements as well, we've seen some people take other jobs because of pay differences," says Moulton
The starting salary is around $34,000. Until June, the city is offering fire fighters a $4,000 retention sign on incentive bonus, spread out over three year.
"Our motto is 'A Tradition in Excellence,' so we'll give you every opportunity to be that excellent firefighter," says Moulton.
Nick Leach says the department has offered many opportunities for advanced training. Moulton says they offer a career matrix for each position. They will help you get the training for anything you need.
"Relief driver is what my main goal was, to be a part of pumping the truck on a fire," says Leach.
Leach has has worked there for three years, and says aside from serving the community, the best part is his new family. The department says they are big on training each other up.
"The camaraderie, the brotherhood, the sisterhood of it -- being around people for a third of the year, you make really good friendships," says Leach
He says it's a position he never expected to take but he wouldn't trade.
"It's rewarding, it really is," says Leach
They are hiring for both certified and uncertified firefighter positions. Moulton says applications for uncertified firefighter positions close Friday. They are still looking for applicants.
Moulton says some of the job's benefits include a pension plan instead of 401k. He says they offer other great medical and dental benefits as well as paid sick leave.