The DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department hired 47 new recruits in February with funding from a federal grant. The recruits started preliminary classes and will join the next scheduled fire academy in April.
“Improved public safety is a top priority,” said Jack Lumpkin, DeKalb County’s director of public safety. “In addition to the federal funding of these new fire rescue positions, the special purpose local option sales tax passed last year will allow us to purchase quick response vehicles, build new fire stations and improve fire services for all of DeKalb County.”
In 2017, the county received $4.9 million from the federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant and the funding supported increasing front-line firefighter staffing levels. Additionally, 71 percent of DeKalb County voters approved a one-cent tax increase that will fund new fire stations and fire quick response vehicles.
The new recruits will complete 10 months of training to include fire operations, fire suppression, hazardous materials, emergency and medical services. Following graduation from the academy, new firefighters will receive emergency medical technician and state certifications.
Through 26 fire stations, the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department provides service to all unincorporated areas of the county as well as the cities of Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Stone Mountain, Stonecrest and Tucker.