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Posted on: December 21, 2020


The graduates stand spaced apart to do the Pledge of Allegiance

The Monroe County Fire Rescue Fire Academy celebrated 28 new graduates today at a virtual ceremony that was streamed live by Monroe County TV. The new graduates successfully 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 more than 500 hours of intensive classroom and practical training and completed the program’s 17 performance objectives, allowing them to be able to register for the State of Florida Firefighter I and II examination. To view the graduation ceremony on demand, visit

Of the graduates, 24 were qualified residents who had their $2,200 tuition fee waived as part of the “Hot Shots” program – a program approved and funded by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners – in exchange for a three-year commitment to work or volunteer as a firefighter anywhere 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 who are now employed or volunteer in fire stations throughout the Florida Keys. To be hired at Monroe County Fire Rescue a candidate must also complete EMT training. More information about Monroe County Fire Academy and the “Hot Shots” program can be found at A fourth “Hot Shots” program is not scheduled at this time.

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