There are “now hiring” signs everywhere in the Crossroads area in front of numerous businesses and industries.

Add the Corinth Fire Department to the list.

Training officer Jerry Whirley said there are four current openings within the department and another eight untrained “rookie” firemen have yet to complete training.

Ranks are depleted. Applicants are sought.

“It is a calling for sure,” said Whirley, who will celebrate 27 years in January as a firefighter. “But people can step forward to make a difference.”

In addition to a new higher starting wage, benefits and plenty of time off, firefighters are a special breed, he said.

“There can be some self-gratification for a person to say, ‘I helped save a life,’” said Whirley, training officer for the past 5 1/2 years.

“A person can say ‘I helped save property.’ The job can be a blessing.”

Firefighters do more than fight fires. They get medical training as First Responders and assist with fire safety awareness, he said.

“It’s so much more than just fighting fires,” he said.

Some facts for applicants seeking a career:

Starting pay at $30,000 with holiday pay;

Paid vacation of 60 hours after one year, 120 hours after two years, and up to 240 hours annually;

180 hours of annual sick leave;

Annual clothing allowance;

PERS state retirement;

City paid insurance;

City paid long term disability;

Vision and dental insurance plans available.

One of the great benefits of being a firefighter is the work schedule, noted Whirley.

“Firefighters work 10 days a month because it is 24 hours a day,” he said. “Then they are off 20 days every month. Many firemen have a second job or own their own business.”

Applicants must be 18 years old, have a valid high school diploma or GED, valid driver’s license, must pass an MSTAT physical fitness exam, background check and drug screening.

Candidates must also score an average of silver on the CRC test at Northeast Mississippi Community College.

“We get a lot of questions about the physical fitness part,” said Whirley.

Applicants must complete a 1.5-mile run in under 14 minutes, then are timed in a three-stage obstacle course, he said.

One idea Whirley likes to share is for interested people to join one of the many volunteer fire departments throughout the Crossroads area.

“They could use the help,” he said. “And a person could see if it might be a career for them.”

A PDF application is available on the City of Corinth website at cityof corinthms.com or candidates can get an application at Corinth City Hall.

Editor

A 1981 University of Tennessee - Martin graduate, Mark Boehler has over 40 years of journalism experience. His wife Dawn is the love of his life and they share five grown children and 10 grandchildren. His passion is his work - writing and photography.

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