Duluth Fire Department Hires Highest Number of Recruits in Decades

Normally recruits would spend two weeks training at Lake Superior College. this group will do that in spring if COVID-19 positivity rates go down.

DULUTH, Minn.- After a mass exodus of 12 retiring firefighters at the end of 2021, the Duluth Fire Department is finishing bringing on its largest new recruit class in decades.

12 new recruits finished onboarding this week.

Normally after being hired they would spend two weeks training at Lake Superior College. this group will do that in spring if COVID-19 positivity rates go down.

Training officers say it makes things a little tougher but everyone coming in does have firefighting or EMT experience or training.

“With the turnover this size it generates almost a cultural shift within the department we have not only a lot of new people being hired as new firefighters but with that we also have a large number of incumbent firefighters being promoted into officer positions so we’ve had a lot of movement within the crews and it kind of refreshes the department,” said Damon Laurion, Training Officer with DFD, himself appointed so 3 weeks ago.

Due to the large size of this class, recruits will be spread out at Headquarters, Lincoln Park, Spirit Valley and UMD stations.

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