The Albany Fire Department is trying to up its recruitment efforts. They are trying to get the word out about a Thursday deadline to apply to join the ranks. Our Megan Cruz shows us what it means to wear the uniform.
COLONIE, N.Y. -- "You have to be the type of person that wants to go to help somebody," said Fire Investigator Alvin Lanier. "You have to be a person that wants to challenge yourself because every day you come on the job, it's a challenge - mental and physical."
Lanier says being a firefighter is not like what you see on TV. Jimmy Gaudet agrees. He says it's better.
"It's that whole adrenaline rush of ‘let's go find somebody and get them out if we can,’" said Gaudet. He's one of 12 recruits hired last year. He's now in his fifth week of training in the department's 13-week program.
Deputy Chief Frank Nerney says the program is rigorous and realistic.
"This is war against this fire and this building and we're trying to make sure they're battle-ready and they can work together as a team," said Nerney.
One such training exercise is called mask confidence. They're given blacked-out masks then they're made to navigate a maze of hallways, tunnels, stairs, and doors.
"It's like going into a building filled with smoke where you can't see," said Gaudet.
This training program is the final step for the 12 on their road to the firehouse. The first step had been the civil service exam. The deadline to apply to take this test this year is Thursday.
The department's looking to hire around 10 recruits this year. Gaudet encourages people to apply.
"I love it," he said. "It's not something I think I'll ever have to wake up and be like, 'Oh, I have to go to work today.'"
For more information about how to apply, visit http://www.albanyny.org/Government/Departments/FireDepartments/FireEmployment.aspx.