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PROVIDENCE – Mayor Angel Taveras announced last week the city will begin accepting applications for its first fire academy in four years. The move is expected to save millions of dollars in overtime costs.
According to a news release, the city’s Public Safety Department is looking to hire between 35 and 50 firefighters to fill vacancies that are costing city taxpayers millions in overtime each year. During a press conference at the Messer Street Fire Station, Mayor Taveras also announced that the city will focus efforts and resources toward encouraging Providence residents to apply for the academy and prepare for the academy tests.
The hirings are expected to alleviate one of the city’s biggest fiscal challenges – public-safety overtime. For every five vacancies filled, the city can cut overtime costs by $448,000, the mayor’s office said. The fire academy will save the city between $3.1 and $4.5 million in overtime costs each year and produce net savings of up to $1 million annually. •