Columbia and Jefferson City welcome newest firefighters

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia and Jefferson City fire departments are holding a graduation ceremony this Thursday night to welcome their newest inductees into the departments.

The Columbia department brought in nine inductees, and the Jefferson City department brought in two.

This ceremony culminates a formal application process and ten week hands on, intensive course. 

Assistant Fire Chief Brad Fraizer said this class is larger than usual but isn't at all uncommon.

In recent months, several cities throughout Missouri have been experiencing difficulty with recruitment and retention due to various factors, one of which being low wages for firefighters. When asked about how this has affected Columbia's department, Frazier said Columbia hasn't experienced these issues.

"The city is very competetive, as is the Columbia Fire Department, with regard to wages and benefits," Frazier said. "We usually have a very good pool of potential recruits to pull from so we're very fortunate in that regard."

Frazier said the next recruitment period will likely be in about another two years.