ODESSA, Tx (Big 2/ Fox 24) – Grass fire season, countless calls to respond too in a day – Odessa Fire Rescue has more hard work on their hands. The department continues with a staffing shortage, which means mandatory overtime.
“Some guys have families and other jobs,” says Steve Perez. ‘They have school so it does get a little difficult.”
The fire paramedic enjoys his job and has been working at Odessa Fire Rescue for almost three years.
However, he says all the open positions mean he and other firefighters work lots of overtime.
“Hopefully, soon we can work on recruitment retention,” Perez says.
Odessa Fire Rescue has 25 vacancies.
Currently, there are 16 cadets, but they still need to fill their requirements.
“The reality is people are looking for financial stability,” says Capt. Tony Reyes. “The oilfield can provide that at least while it’s booming so it’s definitely a concern for the city for our administration and for us who are in the front lines.”
Their lockers remain empty until the positions are filled
Perez says the department is implementing more ways to recruit.
“We will put you through an academy and at the same time you’ll be receiving on the job training,” he says. “And a paycheck that period of time until you can fulfill everything and be on a truck or ambulance with us.”
Training for Odessa Fire Rescue takes about a year to complete.
Here’s the link to apply and learn more about the program: