Hot Shots Academy

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The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners has approved a second Monroe County Fire Rescue “Hot Shots” program. The program is a free firefighting and first responder training for qualified Monroe County residents in exchange for a commitment to volunteer for three years or work as a firefighter anywhere in the Florida Keys.

The program waives the $2,200 curriculum fee for qualified local residents, 18 and older with a minimum of a high school diploma or GED, to take the Firefighter I and II courses at Monroe County’s Joe London Fire Training Academy facility on Grassy Key, MM 56.6.

Students who successfully complete all 17 performance objectives of the firefighter program will be prepared to take the State of Florida Firefighter I and II examinations. 


The class began Sept. 23, 2019 and runs through Jan. 17, 2020. The State test will follow.

To submit documents in advance, email them to

Student Responsibilities

Students will be responsible for purchasing their own instructional book (Essentials of Firefighting 6th Edition). They also will be responsible for rental fees for required bunker gear, taking care of their own accommodations, (if necessary) and transportation to the academy.

Students who are approved for the fee waiver must commit to volunteer at a Monroe County station for a minimum of three years. This volunteer requirement is waived if the student is hired as a full-time career firefighter anywhere in Monroe County.

Purpose of the Program

The purpose of this program is to decrease the high turnover rate of firefighters (now about 15 percent annually), which is costly and disruptive. Due to the high cost of living, Monroe County Fire Rescue has been hiring more and more firefighters who live on the mainland and commute to their assigned stations throughout the Keys.

Non-residents also can enroll in the firefighting courses, but qualified local residents will receive preference in the enrollment process.

Program Prerequisites

  • Physical Agility Test provided at the Fire Academy
  • Medical form signed by a physician that states you are medically fit to perform firefighting duties. The Medical form is valid for six months and must be valid on Day 1 of class. (New Applicants Packet). 
  • Tobacco Affidavit that you do not smoke or use other tobacco products. (New Applicants Packet).
  • Proof you are 18 years or older with a Florida Driver's License or Birth Certificate.
  • Proof of Diploma (High School, College, Transcript, or GED are all acceptable).
  • Completion of the Student Enrollment Agreement (completed at orientation class).

Background Check

A background check will be completed on students after they are registered into the program.

Non-Monroe County Residents

Non-Monroe County residents also can enroll in the firefighting courses, but qualified local residents will receive preference in the enrollment process.