KANSAS CITY, MO — According to the 2021 Kansas City Fire Department Annual Report, the department consisted of more than 1,200 uniformed and civilian employees.
However in 2022, KCFD says it's experiencing staffing shortages and it needs more people to come and serve the community.
Seth Fisher, a firefighter for KCFD, says he loves his job and it's important to get more folks in the department.
“I wouldn't want to be doing anything else,” Fisher said. “It's like I fill a hole that wasn't there before.”
For six years, Fisher has taken the extra step to serve his community by working with KCFD.
“In part, I really like it because it could be a job that your family and your friends could look up to and be proud of,” he said.
Recently, due to recruitment struggles and staffing shortages, Fisher and others are taking on a lot of the heavy lifting.
“There’s definitely a difference, you can tell people are a little more tired, a little more fatigued, but hopefully we get some more people in here,” Fisher said.
KCFD Capt. Donnell Roberts, the diversity and recruitment officer with KCFD, says despite the shortages, the department keeps a daily minimum staff.
“Normally we have four individuals assigned to a rig,” Fisher said. “We have a daily minimum staff, and so our current personal are working real hard to make sure that we don’t have an issue like with response times, and making sure we are still adequately serving the public.”
KCFD is now actively recruiting and said it needs more people to step up and serve their community.
“Basically, it just takes somebody that is passionate about service and helping the public," Roberts said. "And somebody that just has a strong passion and a belief in it — it's something that comes to you naturally."
In the meantime the, department says it's changed the recruiting process, hoping to pull more people into the career and out into neighborhoods that need them.
“Basically, normally we recruit every two years, but we're having a rolling recruitment,” Roberts said. "Every 90 days, so basically what we are going to do is open up the recruitment process again so individuals can continue to apply.”
Fisher says he hopes more people apply to the job he describes as rewarding.