Roll out reserves

The Healdsburg Fire Department is bringing on a new batch of reserves to help in first responses. Commitment both to the department and from it was the primary message Fire Chief Jason Boaz said he shared with new recruits.

The Healdsburg Fire Department is bringing forward seven applicants for their reserve firefighter position.

The applicants, whose names will be made available following the interview, background check and training process, have already passed their written test and oral board interviews and must now pass a chief interview, evaluation and physical.

Healdsburg Fire Chief Jason Boaz said the department typically employs around 20 or so reserves, however, that number has dropped since several have left for other agencies.

Boaz said reserves serve an integral role at the department.

“Yesterday was a good example, we had a one engine company with four people on one engine and we needed reserves to go on other calls. We absolutely rely on them to deliver the service the city expects,” Boaz said in reference to the Fitch fire.

He said other emergency calls don’t just stop coming in when the department is responding to a major event and that’s why a good roster of reserve firefighters is important.

During the 2.4-acre fire on Fitch Mountain on Aug. 20, fire and police personnel were busy evacuating 20 to 30 homes along Benjamin, Sunset and Valley View Way, according to Boaz.

One person was also transported to the hospital, where they were treated and released for fire related injuries. During the response to the fire, reserves were put in place and in charge of secondary calls at the station.

Next step

“We’re hoping to move on all seven of them,” Boaz said of the recruits.

After the physical and background check each applicant will go through an interview with Boaz.

Boaz said he likes to look for people with a good attitude, who work well around others and have a commitment to the department.

“We want to make sure we are bringing in good people,” he said.

If the applicants pass their checks, physicals and interviews then next steps include four to five months of training in early November, according to City Manager David Mickaelian.

Boaz said training would likely be in house.

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