Firefighters join Peoria FD six weeks ahead of recruiting class

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 12:02 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - The Peoria Fire Department is closer to becoming fully staffed after swearing in two firefighters Friday afternoon.

Zachary Shubert and Jakob Johnson transferred from other departments in central Illinois and were able to get on the streets six weeks sooner than the rest of their class.

Peoria Fire Department Chief Shawn Sollberger says the situation was unique for the department, but because of their EMT and paramedic, experience they were ready for the job.

The chief says there are many benefits to getting the two on-board quickly.

“It’s less money to the City of Peoria cause you’re covering overtime cost and you’re getting good quality educated firefighters on the street quicker,” said Chief Sollberger.

Five other recruits will graduate in late June. The chief says there will be another class of five in August. After that, he hopes to be fully staffed with about 171 people.