Recruitment has started as the Pike Township Fire Department is hoping to bring in a new generation of firefighters.
The post Pike Township Fire Department recruiting a more diverse workforce appeared first on WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Recruitment has started as the Pike Township Fire Department is hoping to bring in a new generation of firefighters.

The effort to diversify the department comes as the makeup of who lives in the township changes.

Deputy Fire Chief Lieutenant Ricardo Vega told News 8 there are currently 130 firefighters and the department is a tight-knit family.

However, many firefighters are planning to retire, according to Vega, and Pike Township wants its five firehouses to reflect the community it serves.

Vega says the area has grown more diverse in recent years and many families speak different languages.

The goal, he says, is to create less challenges when communicating during emergencies and to learn how to make families feel more comfortable.

“My family is from Puerto Rico and I’ve been blessed to learn Spanish before English and that helps now,” Vega said. “I can’t tell you how many times [there’s] a look on someone’s face that can’t communicate during an emergency, can’t tell what’s going on, can’t tell the emergency crew how they can serve them.”

Lt. Aaron Brown, the department’s safety and training officer, says applicants chosen to be candidates must undergo a written and physical test.

Candidates can earn extra points toward the test if they are a paramedic, EMT, resident of Pike Township, or a high school student.

Brown says the department has seen a decrease in applicants over the years and hopes to see more in the future.

“Two years ago, we were able to get back up to 600, and usually 50% of those people actually go through the process as far as the testing and everything,” Brown said. “We’re trying to get our numbers up so we can have a bigger group of diversity, and also, a bigger pool of people to choose from, so we can get the best candidates.”

Some of the employment benefits with Pike Township Fire Department include a starting salary of just over $50,000, $100,000 in life insurance paid by the department, college incentive pay, a state pension, and affordable health, dental, and vision insurance. The Insurance Services Organization says the department has one of the lowest insurance premiums in Indiana.

The department is hiring now and accepting online applications through May 31. Find out more or apply at their website.

The post Pike Township Fire Department recruiting a more diverse workforce appeared first on WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic.

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