The Idaho Falls Fire Department is proud to introduce five new firefighters to the community. Surrounded by department personnel and their families, the recruits graduated from a ten-week academy earlier this afternoon. They were hired to fill vacant positions resulting from retirements and promotions.
Fire Chief Duane Nelson states, “We are excited to welcome the recruits to our fire department family. This is an exciting time for our department. With the growth we are experiencing in our community and the additional fire stations and training facility that will be built in the near future, it won’t be long before they are training and mentoring the next round of recruits.”
The IFFD has 125 full-time personnel operating out of six stations. Most personnel work 48-hour shifts within three shifts (A, B and C) to provide 24/7/365 fire and EMS coverage for the City of Idaho Falls and most of Bonneville County. The department also has EMS contracts to provide services to portions of Jefferson and Bingham Counties.
All recruits went through the standard Public Safety Testing (PST) process where they took the written exam. The top 30 to 40 candidates from the PST moved on to the pass/fail physical agility test. Candidates who passed the physical agility test moved on to the first round of interviews with IFFD staff and Union representatives, followed by a final interview with the administrative chiefs.
IFFD Deputy Chief Paul Radford states, “We look forward to getting them on shift to help relieve some of the pressure off of our current staff who are responding to record-breaking calls. Maintaining appropriate staffing levels also reduces overtime expenses for our department.”
Instructors with the IFFD have been training the recruits in-house over the past ten weeks. As the IFFD is the largest combined all-hazard and EMS department in southeast Idaho, the recruits received training in many facets of public safety including fire behavior, wildland firefighting, rope rescue, forcible entry, vehicle extrication, swift water rescue, and EMS.
The training culminated on Thursday with a live burn where the recruits had the opportunity to experience a real structure fire scenario in a controlled and supervised environment.
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“We are fortunate to have professional instructors on our department who are passionate and committed to training our next generation firefighters. We thank them all for the additional time and expertise they invested in the academy,” adds Radford.
The recruits have received their shift assignments, some starting as early as this weekend. They will remain probationary firefighters for the next year while receiving additional supervision and mentorship from department leadership and peers.
Tim Mustion was born on the west coast. He, his wife Georgia, and daughter Ivy moved from Colorado to Idaho Falls the first of June after being accepted into the academy. Mustion has a background in CrossFit and non-profit work. He made the decision to become a firefighter in 2020 when he received his EMT while looking for openings in the fire service. The couple are expecting their second child any day and have enjoyed meeting new people from the department and community.
Amy Olson was born in Newport Beach, CA but has lived in Idaho Falls with her parents and sister for about 20 years. Before joining the department she worked at the airport while gaining fire experience as a volunteer firefighter.
Olson states, “The academy has been an amazing experience for me. I’ve been able to work with extremely helpful and skilled individuals. I have grown so much in my skills and look forward to continuing to learn from my mentors.”
Isaac Snarr was born and raised in Idaho Falls. He and his wife have a daughter who is almost two. Snarr worked as a BLM wildland firefighter for four years and is excited to be continuing his career in the fire service with the IFFD.
Tyler Souza is a 23-year-old from Meridian with prior military experience who is excited about developing his career as a third generation professional firefighter while serving Idaho Falls and the surrounding community.
Joshua Webb is originally from Twin Falls and has lived in Bannock County for the last eight years. He is the proud father of two beautiful boys, Keaton and Ledger. Webb graduated from Idaho State University with his paramedic in 2021. He worked in Star Valley until receiving what he describes as his dream phone call offering him the opportunity to work for the IFFD.
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Media Contact: Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer, (208) 612-8122, [email protected]