MONROE CENTER, Ill. (WIFR) -- A local fire department is launching an initiative to recruit more members.
Monroe Township Fire is now accepting applications for live-in firefighters and EMTs.
“If we can get them the education, the training, the experience, and the testing they need, we can get where they need to be," says Captain Michaelle Jaeger.
The program allows licensed EMTs to receive firefighter training while also working on their education.
"Their number one job while they are here is to help us with calls, but that is almost equal to being a student,'" says Jaeger.
The hope is that by the time they are finished, they will be ready to start a career in the field.
“They will utilize any tools here and experience the training that we do. It will be reinforced by opening cabinets and being immersed in that culture," says Chief Deputy Richard Wilson.
This makes it a win-win situation for both the fire station and the students.
"We allow them to join our membership, go on some calls, and get some training. We will then in turn get the utilization of their skill sets for our community," adds Wilson.
Those participating will get their own room and will be compensated for their help with running calls. They will also get a new fire family, which is something that Captain Jaeger says is a crucial part of their live-in experience.
"It is all about support,” says Jaeger. “A fire family backs you up in any situation, whether on a call, in the firehouse, or in your personal lives. It is one of the best experiences you can have.”
For more information on how to apply, click here.