INDIANAPOLIS — As Marion County experiences a shortage of public safety workers, multiple agencies got together on Saturday for a public safety job fair.
"The community needs to support public safety in general, understand that the jobs that everybody's doing are not the most glamorous jobs [but] everyone working in public safety is working that job because they care about the community they work in," said Charles Barnes, an employee at the Metropolitan Emergency Services Agency (MESA).
Many of those public servants gathered at the IMPD training academy for the job fair. Multiple agencies including the health department, the sheriff's office and animal care services have job postings to fill. Every one of those jobs is instrumental to keeping the residents of Marion County safe. MESA is looking for 911 dispatchers.
"In 2021, we took about 1.4 million calls in our center alone for Indianapolis. That's about 3,900 calls a day. Without people to take the 911 calls, the call just rings and rings, and no one knows you need help," said Tyler Swardson, a MESA worker.
The event was successful, with many agencies receiving multiple applications in the first hour. Alex Stinson came to fulfill his dream of being a firefighter.
"To me it's not a job, it's more or less a moral stance and who you are as a person," he said
Mayor Joe Hogsett made an appearance to show show support for first responders both present and future.
"First of all, it's a pretty good paycheck. I'm very proud of the way we have increased the salary levels for first responders throughout Indianapolis. But it also gives you the opportunity to serve your city in meaningful ways, in a variety of different ways," Hogsett said.
Barnes says he loves his job.
"It's just a way to help. I love helping people, period, so the fact that I get to go in and get paid to do it makes it that much better. I made a career out of helping people and I'm really proud to be able to say that," he said.
If you missed the fair and would like to apply, see a list of job openings in Marion County here.