Clanton Fire to hire first group of full-time firefighters

Published 10:18 am Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

The Clanton Fire Department is moving forward with hiring six full-time firefighters to make the downtown station fully staffed 24 hours a day.

During a Clanton City Council meeting on Sept. 26, Fire Chief David Driver said policies will be adopted and job descriptions will be written as a part of the hiring process.

The plan is to have two of the firefighters working each shift.

“My goal is to have these people hired and in place by early December for them to start in January,” Driver said. “… I feel pretty confident that I can do that. I am looking forward to it.”

Driver said the positions were worked into the department’s budget for the 2023 fiscal year.

“Early summer, when we started working on the budget I started looking at some things and trying to figure some numbers out,” Driver said. “The clerk probably got tired of me coming to his office because I was constantly going in there trying to figure out something that we could do.”

He thanked the mayor and council for approving the department budget with the positions.

Clanton Fire has an average of eight calls a day, but there are days when there are 15-16 calls. Driver said the department has “a great group of volunteers,” but the department has reached the point where full-time personnel is needed to better meet the demand.

Having a full-time station increases safety for the city, and Driver said it also makes the city more appealing to potential businesses looking to possibly locate to the area.

While these will be the first paid full-time firefighter positions, other than the chief, CFD has had three full-time paramedics since December 2021.

Driver said having the full-time paramedics and an ambulance staffed by Regional Paramedical Service out of the downtown station has seen benefits.

“That has actually been beneficial two ways,” Driver said. “It was beneficial to the city obviously because it gave us our own ambulance. It was beneficial to the county because that made the other ambulances in the county more available to respond to call in the county.”

The city of Clanton leadership has been discussing ways to create a full-time fire department since March 2021. After a grant application was denied, Driver began preparing data in October 2021 for the cost to staff the downtown fire station 24 hours a day.