KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -- A metro fire department is taking a unique approach to recruitment due to a local and national paramedic shortage.
This month, they’ll launch a social media campaign to hopefully reach millenials and even younger people.
They want to educate them on all the different roles and positions within a fire station. That includes paramedics, which they are in need of right now.
The department hired Aaron Monson to create a 3D virtual tour of the fire station. You can explore on a computer by clicking around, but you can also view it virtual reality style.
Inside, you’ll see different members of the department and hear from them about what they do, and what drives them to come to work each day.
The faculty at the fire academy at Metropolitan Community College Blue River campus says they have plenty of student applicants to fill each academy.
A lot of the students are straight out of high school or transitioning out of the military while others are in their 20s or 30s looking for a career change, but all have one thing in common.
“Over and over, we have people come in and say we just want to do something that matters. In the police, fire, EMS world every day, we do something that matters for people having a bad day,” said Chuck Perry, the fire science technology coordinator MCC Blue River.
Every firefighter is required to have basic EMT certification.
Paramedics are a higher level of emergency medicine, and it requires more training to get that certification.
Perry says not many people choose to do the 15-month paramedic program after going through the fire academy.
“Most firefighters or most students who come through our program, they want to hit the streets. So they get the minimum requirements which would then allow them to put out applications and get hired,” he said. “Some will choose to go on and get their paramedic license, but again that takes another years and half or so for them to get that licensure.”
KCKFD wants people to know that working in a fire station isn’t just about fighting fires, you can learn investigation, information technology, public relations and more.
The social media recruitment campaign will launch this month.
The department of course wants paramedic applicants. They also want to appeal to more women and people of color.