New Covington cadet program to create firefighter pipeline

Photos used courtesy of Katie Woodring Photography

Applicants sought for ‘high-adrenaline job where you help people’

COVINGTON, Ky. – Fire officials are seeking four recent high school graduates to become the inaugural members of the Covington Fire Department Cadet Program, a brand-new training initiative aimed at creating a firefighter pipeline.

If you’re a Covington resident and graduated high school in the last couple of years, email Corey Deye, Assistant Chief of Training, at And don’t dawdle – Deye

has started interviewing candidates.

He said the Department is looking for candidates who are energetic, dedicated, willing to work hard, and able to see the potential in an exciting, meaningful career.

“This is a high-adrenaline job where you help people,” Assistant Chief Deye said. “It’s definitely not a 9-to-5 desk job.”

While particulars of the cadet program are still being figured out, Deye said participants will be part-time employees who will be paid for 16 to 20 hours of week doing work around the firehouse, accompanying experienced firefighters on fire and EMS runs, and attending “school” – first to become an EMT, then to fire recruit school, and then to paramedic school.

Upon completion of the cadet program, candidates would be certified firefighters under the guidelines of the Kentucky Fire Commission, would have an EMT/Paramedic certificate, and would – upon passing the Fire Department Entrance Exam – be moved to the top of the eligibility list.

In other words … ready to be hired.

The Covington Board of Commissioners approved funding for the program on May 23.

It was proposed as a long-term solution to an increasingly concerning problem shared by Covington and other fire agencies around the nation who are struggling to find job applicants.

“We’ve never had anything like this before, but we think this will be a good recruitment tool that will build interest among the younger generation in making fire service their career,” Deye said.

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