MARYLAND

Prince George's County Fire applicants face long road to hiring

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Based on the amount of applications that the Prince George's County Fire Department got for their open positions, applicants apparently have barely more than a 2 percent chance of landing a job.

The department says that they've received nearly 3,000 applications for 50 open firefighter positions. The positions were only open and able to be applied for between April 6 and April 20.

Officials with the department say that after initial vetting, the list of people who met the minimum qualifications for a firefighter position was whittled down to more than 2,300. Each of those applicants was then invited to take an initial written exam.

In 2011, the department received nearly 2,100 applications, making this year's pool of potential new firefighters more than 40 percent larger. Last year, 1,675 applicants were eligible to take the written exam. This year's exam will take place on May 16 in Greenbelt.

Candidates who pass the written exam still have a long way to go before being hired. The next step after the test include a background check, interviews and a physical skills test. Hiring will likely not take place until early 2013, officials say.

The starting salary for a Prince George's County Firefighter is $40,848.

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