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Md. county has 92 applicants for 16 lieutenant positions in new fire, EMS department

Those hired will serve as station supervisors for Carroll County as part of a collaboration with volunteer leaders, said Director and Chief Michael Robinson Sr.

By Sherry Greenfield
Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Carroll County has 92 applicants to fill 16 lieutenant positions in its new Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, Director and Chief Michael Robinson Sr. said this week.

The department is looking to hire four shift commander lieutenants, to be paid $33.76 per hour, and 12 station lieutenants, who will be paid $30.95 per hour.

“We will be narrowing down our 92 applicants to reach the most qualified 16 individuals who will be provided with an offer of employment,” Robinson said in an email. “Our goal is to hire the ‘best of the best.’”

Robinson said of the 12 station lieutenants, four each will be assigned to the Westminster, Sykesville and Mount Airy volunteer fire and rescue companies.

“These are our stations that will be staffed with at least (six) personnel,” he said. “Each lieutenant will be assigned to one of four shifts and they will work 24 hours on duty and 72 hours off.”

They will serve as station supervisors for the county, responding to emergency and non-emergency events, maintaining station quarters and equipment, providing training and quality assurance “and many other duties related to the management of a fire station,” Robinson said.

“This will be done in direct collaboration with the volunteer leaders of each station. This will absolutely be a ‘partnership’ between the county department and the individual volunteer fire companies,” he said.

The four other lieutenants will be the shift commanders, overseeing the entire department while on their 24-hour shifts.

“They will respond to all major incidents, administer our staffing (leave and attendance management) and serve as the senior representative of the ( Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services) to other agencies and partners such as Carroll Hospital Center, local police and sheriff, the 911 system and provide troubleshooting for all areas as well as quality assurance for our EMS and fire incidents and documentation,” Robinson said.

The goal is to hire the 16 lieutenants by mid-February.

The department is currently working through an eight-step hiring process that includes a written test, physical ability practice, testing based on job relatedness, an oral interview with a panel of internal and external leadership, assessment to cover both technical and supervisory areas, an extensive background investigation and psychological assessment.

The push to create a combination paid and volunteer county fire service began in Carroll County more than a decade ago. In 2018, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation allowing the county to establish the new department and in October 2020, commissioners unanimously voted to pass an ordinance creating it.

Robinson was named director in September 2021 and is charged with the overall direction, administration and evaluation of the department. He has been preparing policies and procedures since then.

Staffing will be needed for 13 of the county’s 14 volunteer fire companies. The Harney Volunteer Fire Company in Taneytown will receive no new staffing, as it has no ambulances and a low call volume.

Robinson has said he is planning to hire up to 240 employees in the next two years. Lieutenants must be hired first in order to help with the hiring of other staff.

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