Thirteen may be an unlucky number tomorrow, but it’s cause for celebration in Palm Springs today.
Driving the news: The Palm Springs Fire Department has 13 new firefighter/paramedics on board following a ceremony Wednesday evening. With the new recruits in place, the fire department is now fully staffed.
- The graduating class is the largest ever in the city.
Details: The new members of the fire family were pinned following a six-week in-house academy where they learned “the Palm Springs way,” said Capt. Nathan Gunkel.
- “We train throughout the entire city,” Gunkel said Thursday. “They learn all basic aspects of firefighting from structure to wildland firefighting, traffic collision extrication, and medical aid training.”
Zoom in: The city program follows rigorous state fire academy and paramedic school training prior to being hired.
Why it matters: Additional fire personnel could lead to lower insurance rates for property owners if the city can secure a “class 1 rating” from the Insurance Services Office.
- The fire score rating is determined based on how well a local fire department can protect its community.
Up next: “They will now be assigned to a station and begin one year of intensive probation to cover every aspect of the fire service,” Gunkel said.
Looking back: Based on public feedback, additional staff for both the police and fire departments was a priority of the Palm Springs City Council when it adopted the city’s latest budget.
- City leaders budgeted an average of 26.5% more money to each department for the fiscal year that ends June 30.
But wait: Even though the department is now fully staffed, Gunkel said new recruits are often needed. Anyone interested can keep their eye on the city’s job board here.