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Lansing Fire Department recruiting diversity

Posted at 7:33 AM, Mar 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-30 07:33:40-04

The Lansing Fire Department has 17 openings and will soon have 11 more. But it isn't looking for just anyone to fill those 28 spots.

"Whenever the fire department hires someone, we're looking for quality individuals," Bruce Odom, who works for the Lansing Fire Department, said.

He and other firefighters and administrators held an informational meeting Tuesday to answer questions from people interested in applying.

One of the many things Lansing Fire is looking for - diversity of all kinds.

"You need a great understanding of everybody that builds your community," Odom said. "If you don't understand the culture, the people, the community that you serve, how much do you value your community?"

Applicants must also pass a rigorous physical test, in full gear, but firefighters says that shouldn't scare anyone away from applying.

"If you've got the drive, the determination, the heart, if you're athletic, if you are thoughtful, if you can empathize then you can do it," Odom said. "I would say 'Go for it.'"

One part of the test is lifting and carrying a 175-pound dummy.

22-year-old Christina Thurber jokes that's twice her weight, but she says the test doesn't scare her.

"I like the challenge. I'm excited for it," Thurber said.

She and another applicant say LFD's push for diversity is good.

"It encourages other people who might not have been interested in this career to start looking at it as a possibility," Cameron Stolarczyk said.

Which is important because encouraging a large, diverse group to apply makes it possible for Lansing Fire to hire the best.

"You really have to have a passion to help people," Odom said. "You have to have a selfless attitude. You have to always be mindful of the individuals that you serve."

The deadline to apply is April 8. You must be 18 and have a high school diploma or GED to qualify.

For more details, and to apply, visit the Lansing Fire Department's information page.