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flint fire department

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint has three dozen new firefighters.  

They were sworn in today.

Family and friends packed the auditorium to see Flint’s newest firemen be sworn in. Some had the honor of pinning on the new firefighters' badges. 

Fire Chief Ray Barton is happy to see the ranks of his department not only increase by 50%, but also grow younger. He says the average age of the new recruits is in the mid-20s, while Flint’s veteran firefighters’ average age is in the mid-40s.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s new firefighters will have brand new helmets and other gear when they start work later this summer.

Flint firefighters respond to more fires than most departments in the state, and their gear shows the added wear and tear.

A Flint firefighters teaches adult volunteers how to escape from a smoky home.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Next week, people in Flint, Lansing and Royal Oak will vote on renewing public safety millages.

Flint police officers are spending their off-duty hours handing out information to promote the vote. Last night, firefighters showed volunteers how to escape a smoky fire, while city officials talked up the millage renewal.  

The renewal vote could be the difference between Flint hiring new firefighters or layoffs.