The City of Detroit and its public schools are launching a two-year pilot project to train high school students to become firefighters in the city, officials said today.
A group of 30 students will be the first trained when school starts next week, and by the time they graduate from the Cody High School Complex, they will be certified as both firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
The goal: to get more Detroit residents into the firefighting ranks.
Mayor Mike Duggan said that most candidates for jobs at the Detroit Fire Department tend to be young suburbanites with a leg up over Detroiters.
“We know that everything in this city starts with a job, and it starts with opportunities, and it starts with our young people growing up believing there will be opportunities for them,” Duggan said at a news conference announcing the program at Cody, on the city’s west side.
Duggan credited EMT and firefighter unions for telling him as he was running for mayor that most of the candidates applying to be firefighters or EMTs were recent graduates of suburban high schools that offered in-school training and curriculum, putting them ahead of applicants from the city.