Marvin Snodgrass has worked for Northwest Fire District for seven out of his ten years in the firefighting industry. Hes a firefighter engineer and runs the academy as a trainer. He also conducts engineer testing and the engineer academies.

It gives you that opportunity to give back to the community, he said.

In 2021, NWFD said they made offers to 15 people and in 2022 they didnt have an academy. They said in 2023 they made offers to 27 people and this year are hoping to get 15 new people.

When you have that big field to choose from, you can get some really good applicants, Snodgrass said.

However, he has seen a difference in the amount of applicants to the academy. In 2016, he said the district capped their applicants at one thousand people and actually hit that cap.

NFWD said theyre using social media to attract applicants. They said theyre not sure why theyve gotten less applicants.

When we hire someone, were hiring for.thats what we need, Snodgrass said.

The U.S. Census Bureau says there were about 17 thousand more people living in Marana in 2020 than in 2010.

With more people, Snodgrass says theyre getting more calls, which means theyre looking at the future of new stations.

The Tucson Fire Department told KGU9 two months ago theyre seeing about half of the applicants every time they open their recruitment process. They still want to recruit 40 people, their biggest class of firefighter recruits in years.

Snodgrass said NWFD is also attracting applicants with benefits like a pension, but he said a supportive team is also a benefit to his job.

Its more mission-driven, bigger picture thing youre working towards, and the relationships you get to build, he said.