One of Payson's paid on-call firefighters has a shot at parlaying that part-time position into a full-time career with the Payson Fire Department. The department is hiring a new firefighter to help staff the town's new fire station on Rancho Road.
At the top of the short list of six candidates is Garrett Ward.
Determining which of the six applicants was the order of business recently, as candidates endured a number of tests to determine the best person for the job.
The six candidates performed a number of physically demanding tasks, including a "mannequin rescue," an endurance test and a hose operation test.
"All candidates successfully completed the course in the allotted time frame," said Capt. Marty DeMasi. After written tests and oral interviews Monday, a panel of judges prioritized the candidates. Coming in second behind Ward was Julie Morder, followed by Rhett Connolly, Tim Rice, Sam Garcia and Rick Winton.
The candidates' test results will form the foundation of the department's hiring list for a minimum of one year.
"I hope that over the course of the year, we have the opportunity to hire off of this very fine list," Payson Fire Chief John Ross said.
The department is hiring the new firefighter within the next two weeks to help staff the town's second fire station, which recently opened on Rancho Road.
"Station 12 has been a very positive move for Payson," he said. "Within the first month of operation, our response time to calls in northern Payson went from 5.9 minutes to 3.45 minutes."
To staff Station 12, firefighters had to be taken from the town's primary station on Main Street.
"The new firefighter will work as a floater between the two stations," Ross said.