VIDEO: They’re often near the front lines while clearing a path and working side by side California’s firefighters.
“It’s a big opportunity,” said an inmate firefighter.
But after serving a prison sentence, inmate’s careers are over.
“When they leave that service they’re told that they will never ever be allowed to be a firefighter,” said Assemblymember Eloise Reyes.
She is trying to change that, allowing felons to become professional firefighters later in life.
“We know people make mistakes and then they turn their lives around,” said Reyes. “They might not get the job, but at least they won’t be precluded.”
Currently, felons cannot become an EMT firefighter.
“They must be held to the highest standards,” said Carroll Wills with the California Professional Firefighters.
He said he is fundamentally opposed to the change.