PASADENA ( — Thousands of prospective firefighters gathered Monday in Pasadena to compete for highly coveted positions with the city.

An estimated 4,000 applicants will take a written exam with the Pasadena Fire Department at the city’s Convention Center to contend for several trainee jobs, which are being offered for the first time since 2009.

Spokeswoman Lisa Derderian told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO about 400 applicants will advance after Monday, with approximately ten or so candidates actually becoming firefighters.

“From this point, the ones that score highest move on to several interview boards— including the chief’s interview board if they make it to that level — and then there’s a 16-week academy for the small handful that do become the firefighters,” Derderian said.

According to the city’s website, trainee hires will earn a yearly salary of $69,000.

With 180 full-time employees, 153 shift personnel, and 27 bureau and administrative personnel, Derderian said the Fire Department hopes to hire candidates who want to make firefighting a career.

“This is a very expensive process…so we wait until we can hire a good, solid group,” she said.

Aug. 1 was the final date for candidates to apply.

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