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Maple Grove Voice

Maple Grove Recruits Complete West Suburban Fire Academy

Jun 29, 2019 04:27PM

The 2019 West Suburban Fire Academy included eight new Maple Grove Firefighters. Left to Right: Randy Sartor, Jay Lamsal, Victor Strecher, Jeff Claseman, Chief Bush, Tomas Stubbe, Jason Grenz, Eric Barry, and James Wong. (photo provided by MGFD)

Information provided by Maple Grove Fire Department

The 2019 West Suburban Fire Academy recently completed initial firefighter training. This year’s class included eight new Maple Grove Firefighters who completed 20 weeks of classes, with sessions meeting two evenings each week.

The West Suburban Fire Academy is a shared services effort with primary sponsorship shared by Maple Grove, Golden Valley, Plymouth, and the West Metro Fire Rescue District.   

“This training allows new firefighters an opportunity to train and learn with their peers," MGFD Fire Chief Tim Bush said. "Each topic is taught by lead instructors that are subject matter experts. Students learn from the senior firefighters and fire officers that they will continue working with after completing their academy training.”

New firefighters typically attend initial training through one of several options. Most night available firefighters typically attend training through the West Suburban Fire Academy, while day available firefighters may find that their work and personal commitments require training that better fits their schedule. In 2019, Maple Grove also has three apprentice firefighters attending training through the Northern Dakota Training Academy.

Maple Grove uses a fire department staffing model that depends on citizens willing to serve as part-time firefighters. The majority of Maple Grove’s nearly 100 paid on-call firefighters have full-time jobs and serve their community as part-time firefighters.

“We have a small group of career firefighters that support timely response, but paid on-call firefighters are the primary responders," Bush said. "We’ve found that many people living in Maple Grove are interested in serving their community, but don’t always realize that they can do so by becoming part-time firefighters.”  

Maple Grove is currently accepting firefighter applications through Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.  Maple Grove currently has both day and evening openings at each of five fire stations. Traditionally, it is more difficult to find people who are available on weekdays, during daytime hours. 

“Finding people that are able to respond during the day is one of the biggest challenges for most departments like ours," Bush said. "We are looking for people that are home during the daytime and are interested in serving their community as a firefighter.”

Information can be found at www.MGFire.info.  

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