Proposed Scholarship Program Would Help JFRD Recruit Women, Minorities

May 26, 2020

The City Council is expected to take up a proposal Tuesday that would help the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department recruit more women and minority firefighters. 

Ordinance 2020-0212 would create a Firefighter Candidate Sponsorship Program to offer financial support to potential candidates.

JFRD Chief Keith Powers said the trust fund would not only help the department meet its recruiting goals, but also help people escape poverty.

“When I got on this department, it changed my entire life, it changed the future of my children’s lives. I mean, it changed a lot of things for me for the positive and I just feel like we can do so much with these young people in our community. They can have the same opportunities I did,” Powers said. “I came from nothing, so if anybody can attest that it works, I can.”

Scholarships would help with candidates’ expenses like tuition, testing, and certification fees.

The bill is on the agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting, which is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

Public login information on the virtual meeting can be found at COJ.net.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.