King County Fire Chiefs Association to launch Diversity and Recruitment Workshop program; first workshop to be held on Dec. 11
Goal of workshops is to help recruit a diverse workforce to serve King County communities in the position of firefighter/EMT
Workshops designed to help potential applicants navigate the hiring process
KING COUNTY (Nov. 16) – The King County Fire Chiefs Association (KCFCA) will host its first ever Diversity and Recruitment Workshop on Dec. 11. The workshops are designed to help potential firefighter applicants navigate the hiring process and are geared towards recruiting a more diverse workforce.
Individuals who have an interest in serving the King County community as a firefighter/EMT, and want to learn more about the hiring process are encouraged to register for this free workshop online by Dec. 1. While the workshop is open to anyone at least 16 years of age, it’s targeted towards potential applicants who may experience access or systemic barriers to becoming a firefighter/EMT, to include BIPOC communities, LGBTQIA+, women, bilingual adults or those with no prior fire service experience.
“The KCFCA has long advocated for recruiting and advocating for a diverse workforce. This workshop is a great example of the opportunities we can create when we work together to bring down barriers that exist for our underserved communities,” said President of the King County Fire Chiefs Association Jeff Clark.
The workshop begins at 8:15 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m., with a complimentary breakfast and lunch provided. Workshop participants will begin the day with a keynote speaker and then rotate through various breakout sessions regarding topics on preparing for the hiring process. Sessions will focus on preparing for the written and oral board interviews, physical and mental wellness and medical and psychological exams. Participants will leave the workshop with an enhanced understanding of what it takes to apply to become a firefighter/EMT.
“In 2017 the KCFCA created a Diversity subcommittee to recruit, hire and retain a workforce that reflets the diversity of the community we serve,” said Chair of the Diversity Subcommittee Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. “Our committee has worked to be an active voice in addressing and breaking down barriers that disproportionately impact underserved communities, and this workshop program is a step in the right direction.”
The KCFCA subcommittee has worked over the past year to plan this workshop program. Workshops are expected to occur twice annually in the fall and spring and will rotate among jurisdictions throughout the County but are open to all potential candidates across the region with a capacity of 120 individuals. The single-day December 2021 workshop will be located in Bellevue. Masks or face coverings and proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours are required for all who enter the facility. Details on parking at the facility and bus routes from areas in King County will be provided to those who register.
“On behalf of the Bellevue Fire Department, I am pleased to be hosting this inaugural workshop. It's important that we ensure all members of our community are made aware of and given the opportunity to be a part of this rewarding profession,” said Bellevue Fire Chief Jay Hagen.
Firefighter/EMT positions offer a competitive salary and benefits package. Once hired, many more opportunities are presented to excel through the ranks or serve on various specialty teams (chief officer, paramedic, fireboat engineer, technical rescue, etc.). Current minimum qualifications to become a firefighter for most departments in King County include obtaining a high school diploma or equivalency test (G.E.D.), a driver’s license and a COVID-19 vaccine. Some departments require a Washington State EMT certification prior to applying.