Wash. FD offers individuals $200 to attend recruitment event

Fueled by a staffing shortage, the Kirkland Fire Department is also offering reimbursement for the costs of exams


By Leila Merrill

KIRKLAND, Wash. — The Kirkland Fire Department is not only planning to host a “Become a Kirkland Firefighter!” workshop, but it is also offering to pay attendees $200 for participating in the event.

The Kirkland department is understaffed, Capt. Justin Becker told KIRO 7 News, adding that in the last two weeks, he’s worked 260 hours straight. A more typical total for consecutive work hours is 80.

“I feel like we’re in a staffing crisis of the likes I’ve never seen in my almost 20 years here at the fire department,” Capt. Justin Becker told KIRO 7 News.
“I feel like we’re in a staffing crisis of the likes I’ve never seen in my almost 20 years here at the fire department,” Capt. Justin Becker told KIRO 7 News. (Photo/Kirkland Professional Firefighters)

“I feel like we’re in a staffing crisis of the likes I’ve never seen in my almost 20 years here at the fire department,” Becker said.

So, like a lot of fire departments, Kirkland is hiring. For some new hires, that process may start with the workshop.

There are eligibility requirements for the Sept. 10 event, such as being at least 19 years old, having a driver’s license and being vaccinated against COVID-19. A full list of requirements is here.

The workshop includes preparation sessions for the written exam, the physical exam and the interview.

The department is offering to pay attendees $200 for attending the event, plus reimbursements for the costs of exams. In addition, applicants who travel more than 50 miles to attend the event may be eligible for travel cost reimbursements.

More information on the event, the department and its hiring process is here.

Image/Kirkland Fire Department

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