Those looking for an opportunity to help the citizens of Polk County needed to look no further than the county emergency management building last week.
All of the county’s public safety agencies were represented at a job fair organized by the county’s human resources department on Thursday, May 13, with most of them having openings for immediate employment.
“We’re eagerly wanting to hire more people,” said Polk County Police Assistant Chief Kiki Evans. “We’ve given out three applications so far and if we can get some more people to come in it would be great.”
Department heads and supervisors with the county police, sheriff’s office, volunteer fire department, E-911 and animal control were all available to answer questions and provide information on how to apply for positions.
County Human Resources Director Sheena Presley said the bulk of the openings for county employees is in public safety, which was the reason why they decided to hold the job fair.
County Jail Administrator Maj. Rachel Haddix and assistant jail administrator Lt. Dustin Stroup were on hand from the sheriff’s office. They said they try to offer a better entry into public safety by allowing employees to start at 18 and have more opportunities for advancement and training.
“Everyone starts working in the jail, but they can start earlier and be able to gain three years of experience working inside the department before moving onto patrol or another division,” Stroup said.
“Another big thing is we probably have more training than any other agency around. So in three years a person may get more training than someone with five or six years at another agency.”
Another agency that has been in need of new employees is the county’s E-911 center.
Director Crystal Vincent said she has two openings that she has to fill to get a full rotation of shifts. She said she has enough to meet the minimum of three communications officers on each shift, but current employees are having to pick up the slack.
There are some recent hires who are going through training, but that will extend to all 911 operators when the county deploys its new updated radio system that is scheduled for June or July.
The agency that is a little outside the norm in employment is the county’s volunteer fire department. Interim EMA director and fire department assistant Landon Hendrix said they have had some interest recently in people wanting to join the fire department, but they are always looking for more.
“Anyone can do it,” Hendrix said. “As long as you meet the requirements from the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council and the county, you just have to show up, go through our class, and maintain the yearly training requirements.”
With around 80 current members, the volunteer fire department is looking to have a training class set up in the next month or two, according to Hendrix.
For more information on job openings with the county, visit www.polkga.org/job-openings.