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'The best job in the world': Manchester FD searching for top talent

In Manchester, they have 83 men and women on their fire teams, but attracting new talent has been more of a challenge of late.

MANCHESTER, Conn. — It’s nothing new but it’s been exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic; a shortfall of firefighters across the country.

In Manchester, the department is making a plea to the public: they are looking for top talent to join their ranks. What has traditionally been a sought-after department to join, even in Manchester, they say, they have fewer applicants for paramedic and firefighter jobs.

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“Everyone is in the same boat now, we’re all struggling for people now and we are doing the best we can to help one another,” Assistant Chief Josh Beaulieu said. “We need to get to the kids in high schools that might not know EMS is a great career choice.”

Lt. Moria Perez, a 23-year veteran of the Manchester Fire Department, is encouraging people to learn more about the profession, not just at her department but at departments across the state.

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“Reach out to the departments, we have people more than willing to have you come for a ride-along, we will tell you what we are looking for,” Perez said.

In Manchester, they have 83 men and women on their fire teams, but attracting new talent has been more of a challenge of late.

“Our lists are getting shorter and we have some concerns about whether or not we are going to be able to fill our ranks appropriately going forward,” Beaulieu said. “There are fewer volunteers in agencies around us that we typically hire from.”

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To Lt. Perez, the career is the most rewarding one around.

“You have to be willing to push,” she said, “but it’s the best job in the world, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” 

To get more information, go to the Manchester Fire Department’s Facebook page.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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