kcfd truck

The Kansas City Fire Department is hiring. Like many employers, they have a lot of vacancies and not enough applicants to meet their need.

That’s why Deputy Chief James Dean and a team of firefighters were hard at work recruiting applicants during the Juneteeth celebration in the Jazz District. They had a goal of showing children and families their shiny red fire truck, but they also knew the Juneteenth celebration would be a great opportunity to visit one-on-one with young people of color about the great work hours, pay, benefits, and career path they could experience as a KCMO firefighter.

Without requiring a college degree, KCMO firefighter starting pay equals or exceeds the salary for many recent college graduates. Depending on their shift assignment, firefighters starting pay can range from $54,000 to $85,000 per year.

This is exceptional pay for new firefighters who must be between 18 to 29 years of age. Eligible applicants for the upcoming training class must not have turned 30 before Oct. 31, 2022, the date applications close.

Some of the other application requirements include having a high school diploma or GED and a Kansas City Mo residency. If accepted, applicants living outside the city have nine months to move into the city.

Deputy Chief Dean said firefighting used to be a very attractive position for African Americans. Black firefighters were seen as leaders in the community with their salary affording them a middle to upper-middle class lifestyle.

Somehow, Dean says, the great benefits of a career as a firefighter aren’t reaching young African Americans. It’s something he and his team are working intently to change.

Besides showing up at events like Juneteenth, they’re reaching out through high schools and community colleges and speaking to both men and women. This weekend, they have an open house on Sat., June 25 from 10 a.m.- noon at the KCMO Fire Academy, 5130 Deramus, KCMO. They’re inviting anyone who wants to learn more about a career with KCFD to attend. To sign up for the open house, call or email Deputy Chief Dean at (816) 513-4662 or email him at james.dean@kcmo.org


Since 1996, Bonita has served as as Editor-in-Chief of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into...