Monroe County Fire Rescue welcomed its second “Hot Shots” class on Monday to Joe London Fire Academy on Grassy Key. Class 19-01 includes 33 qualified men and women starting the process to become a volunteer or career firefighter. Thirty of the 34 students are residents of Monroe County.
The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners sponsored the program to provide free firefighting and first responder training for qualified Monroe County residents in exchange for a commitment to volunteer or work as a career firefighter anywhere in the Florida Keys. Due to the high cost of living, and a limited qualified population, the purpose of this program is to decrease the high turnover rate of career firefighters throughout the Florida Keys.
The program runs through Jan. 17, 2020. Students who successfully complete all 17 performance objectives of the firefighter program will be prepared to take the State of Florida Firefighter II examination.
The first program graduated 29 firefighters in November 2018; 27 graduates were Monroe County residents.