The Trenton Fire Department might be hiring a new firefighter before the end of the year.
A 38-year-old Trenton firefighter suffered a non-work related injury about a year ago and has until Dec. 24 to return to work. The firefighter must be cleared by a doctor before he can resume his duties as a full-time firefighter.
The firefighter is currently receiving long-term disability, which is about 60 percent of his annual pay and could potentially end after 24 months or until he finds gainful employment. The benefit is not paid by the City of Trenton and covers costs for additional education.
Human Resorces Director Scott Church did not wish to reveal the nature of the firefighter's injury or any indication as to whether the man could medically return to work.
"I don't think we will deffinitively know (if the firefighter will return to work) until the last day," Church said.
In the event the firefighter does not return to work he would be terminated and would no longer collect pay or benefits from the City of Trenton, according to city policy.
City officials have a list of applicants on hand and would begin the process of hiring a new employee if the deadline passes and the firefighter does not or cannot physically return to work under direction of a medical doctor.
"Whether he returns to work for the City of Trenton or not, I hope he is well and he's able to be gainfully employed with our fire department or elsewhere," Church said.
Church added the process to hire a new firefighter could take about a month.