GRASSY KEY — The Monroe County Fire Rescue Fire Academy celebrated 28 new graduates during a recent virtual ceremony.
The new graduates completed the third “Hot Shots” Minimum Standards training program at the county-owned Joe London Fire Training Academy on Grassy Key.
Since September, the graduates had logged more than 500 hours of classroom and practical training and completed the program’s 17 performance objectives, allowing them to be able to register for the Florida Firefighter I and II examination.
Of the graduates, 24 were county residents who had their $2,200 tuition fee waived in exchange for a three-year commitment to work or volunteer as a firefighter in the Florida Keys.
“I would like to thank the graduates of this class who came together as one through a pandemic and chased the dream of becoming a firefighter,” said Charlie Mather, Monroe County Fire Rescue Training Chief. “I challenge you to be the ones who lead the charge for change and change for better and leave the fire service a better place than it was before you got there.”
The previous two “Hot Shots” programs graduated 55 students, many of whom are now employed or volunteer in fire stations throughout the Keys. To be hired at Monroe County Fire Rescue, a candidate must also complete EMT training.
A fourth “Hot Shots” program is not scheduled at this time.