Palm Springs Fire Department now fully staffed following ceremony welcoming 13 new members

The new members of the fire family were pinned following a six-week in-house academy. It’s the largest class in city history and could lead to lower insurance rates for property owners.
The “13 Strong” who completed their fire academy training and took the oath of office to join the Palm Springs Fire Department Wednesday evening.

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.

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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

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