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Chico Fire gets flooded with applications for firefighters

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Mar 11 2014 09:12:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 09:14:35 PM CDT
CHICO, Calif. -

It took just 31 hours for Chico Fire to get their limit of 500 applicants since opening the job postings.

The city council has accepted a $5 million federal grant that will allow the department to hire five more firefighters.

Fire cadets at the Butte Fire Academy said they are not surprised, and it is very competitive to get a firefighting job.

“Doing the academy is a lot of work and it's a lot of stress,” said Butte Fire Academy Cadet Elliot Hopkins. “They get hundreds of applications and hundreds of interviews for only 16 spots. So no matter where you go, you're competing with hundreds of people.”

“If Stockton Fire Department for instance was accepting applications right now, they would have the same situation,” said Butte Fire Academy Coordinator Chuck Vanevenhoven.

Vanevenhoven said he knows his cadets will have to work really hard if they want their dream job.

“They are going to apply where ever there are applications being taken,” Vanevenhoven said. “That's what they should be doing.”

One of those candidates was former Butte College Cadet Devin Robson. He endured the stress of not knowing whether or not he was going to get a job 14 years ago.

Luckily, he did and is now a working firefighter for the city of Stockton. His advice to cadets is to stick with it.

“There are people that I graduated with that tested for seven or eight years before they finally got their job,” Robson said.

Fire officials at Chico fire said they are working around the clock to get those five firefighters on the job.