Updated: 12/17/2012 10:13 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls
It hasn't happened in seven years, but Minneapolis is now on the verge of hiring 15 new firefighters.
Mayor R.T. Rybak and city officials will announce plans to launch the application process Monday morning at a news conference. Rybak and the City Council agreed to pump an additional $1.1 million into next year's budget to make room for the new firefighting recruits. Minneapolis Firefighter Union leaders say they are happy to get the new firefighters, but say more needs to be done.
Union President, Mark Lakosky, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that even with the new firefighters coming on board, the department still needs more help on their rigs. Lakosky says attrition and on-the-job injuries have thinned the department to dangerously low levels. Lakosky says the department has to pay overtime every day just to keep staffing levels at fire stations at the bare minimum.
The last time Minneapolis offered firefighting jobs, 1,800 people applied for the open positions. They expect at least that many this time around.