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Posted on: January 10, 2023

Victoria Fire Department’s first civilian cadets train to earn certifications

Seven people in fire department shirts stand in front of a fire truck

PHOTO #1: The Victoria Fire Department’s new civilian cadets pose for a photo on their first day of training with the Victoria Fire Department’s in-house Fire Academy on Jan. 9 at the Victoria Fire Training Facility.

PHOTO #2: Fire Training Specialist Andrew Moon gives an overview of rules and expectations during the first day of the Victoria Fire Department’s in-house Fire Academy on Jan. 9 at the Victoria Fire Training Facility. The class of recruits includes seven civilian cadets who have already been hired as City of Victoria employees.

A man in a fire department shirt addresses a classroomSeven residents began training this week with the Victoria Fire Department to earn their firefighter/EMT certifications as part of the department’s new civilian cadet program.

For the first time this year, residents had the opportunity to apply for employment with the Victoria Fire Department as civilian cadets. The new hires will complete the fire department’s in-house certification program as staff-in-training while earning a full-time salary. 

Fire Chief Robert "Tracy" Fox“With the changes in the job market following the pandemic, we were seeing fewer applicants who already had their firefighter/EMT certifications,” Fire Chief Tracy Fox said. “This program is a great way for us to recruit local talent by reaching residents who could benefit from this type of paid training opportunity.”

After completing the 20-week certification program, the cadets will be able to advance within the organization if they meet other applicable requirements of open positions. If they separate from the City within three years, they must repay the cost of their training.

Fox said he was “very excited” about the quality of the civilian cadets, who were chosen from a pool of more than 30 applicants.

“Most of them already have workforce experience and were looking for a career change,” Fox said. “They’ve expressed that they want to pursue a career with meaning and purpose that lets them give back, and this program gives them that opportunity.”

Applications are expected to open again in the fall. For more information about the program, contact Capt. Dana Woodward at 361-485-3453 or visit www.victoriatx.gov/vfdcareers

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