SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Sioux City Fire Rescue (SCFR) is currently staffed by roughly 146 combined firefighters and EMS personnel, but keeping the ranks filled at that level requires months of work.

“As we get older, we have people retire so we need to have a viable pool that we can pull from once we do have those retirements,” said Lieutenant John Nelsen of SCFR.

So that the City of Sioux City is prepared to fill those losses, a civil service list is developed every two years. To qualify for the list, candidates must pass multiple written and physical tests along with a one-time interview.

For the 20 candidates who make the list, it’s a waiting game. Lt. Nelsen said many recruits wait for months or years before being put in a firehouse.

“It does take so long to hire, I mean, it’s about a six month process to get the list established and then — after then, we just wait for the retirements to happen,” Lt. Nelsen said.

Tanner Wilson was recruited back in 2018 as a paramedic at Firehouse #3. After a couple of years, he went through the recruitment again to become a firefighter and was accepted.

Wilson said that while on the job, there’s seldom two days alike.

“Just how every day is so much different. You never have the same day, you’re never sitting behind the same desk or doing the same stuff. Every day is totally different. You never know what you’re going to go to, you never know what to expect,” said Wilson.

SCFR will be hosting a Career Day on September 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1401 Terminal Drive near the Casey’s on Lewis Boulevard.