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Fire Cadet Program provides path for community youth to explore what it takes to be a firefighter

Grand Rapids Fire Department
GR Fire Department Facebook page

The Grand Rapids Fire Department will soon have a few Fire Cadets on staff. The Fire Cadet Program provides a path for community youth to discover what it takes to be a firefighter.

“We’ve been looking at ways to get that information to them, starting with our younger people, getting them to understand what we do in fire services, so that they can look at it as a career, opportunity right here in Grand Rapids themselves.”

That’s Grand Rapids Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief, Eric Freeman. He’s talking about their recent Fire Cadet program endeavor. He says they just wrapped up the application process and are looking forward to training young people over the age of 18 about being a firefighter. He says one goal is to encourage local residents to one day serve.

“I’m from Grand Rapids and I didn’t know about the fire service until my father got into the fire department. Once he did that, it opened my eyes, and I know Grand Rapids I know the people that live here and I’m very invested in the community itself. So, we’re looking for other like-minded people that are interested in their own community, being able to protect it and are looking for a good career opportunity.”

The City Commission approved the program, vetted by the Civil Service Board, for up to six part-time paid internships. Cadets will work 16 to 20 hours a week providing general assistance to the fire department. Cadets will receive fire training, Medical First Responder training, and the opportunity to interact with firefighters, as well as the community.

Chief Freeman says for those interested, you can find out information about the Cadet program as well as the firefighter process by subscribing to their recruiting website at JOINGRFIRE.com

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.
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