During Tuesday's honoring those lost on the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Chief Antonio Conte announced the city would see an influx of new firefighters in the near future.
"Currently our ranks of firefighters at Stamford Fire & Rescue are as thin as they've ever been," the chief said during the ceremony. "The amount of mandated overtime is higher than ever before. In an effort to provide the highest level of safety for the public and firefighters, I'm pleased to announce the hiring of 22 new firefighters."
The firefighters are already named on a short list of eligibility, Deputy Chief Trevor Roach explained, and those the department would be looking to bring aboard would be notified soon.
"The selection hasn't been made yet," Roach said. "We're going to have to notify them, then they have to get a physical then go through training for 13 to 14 weeks. I run the training division, so I'm excited to help mold 22 new firefighters—about 8-percent of our workforce."
This round of hirings will be the first for the department since 2008. There was a technical issue of someone being hired in 2010, but that employee was a member of the 2008 round who had been out while injured.
"We are looking forward to welcoming the next generation of firefighters," Conte said during the ceremony.
Assistant Chief William Smith said the hirings were necessary to keep the department at the bare minimum of continuing function, especially as the 170 firefighters on staff continue to age.
"We do anticipate a significant number of retirements in the coming years," Smith said. "We're looking to minimize the effects those retirements have on the department."