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The Villages
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Marion County Fire Rescue planning major recruitment event in January

Marion County Fire Rescue and the Marion County Board of County Commissioners are reigniting the Non-Certified Fire Academy, to fill 45 Firefighter, Paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician positions.

In collaboration with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, Marion Technical College and the Florida State Fire College, the program includes 22-weeks of paid training and guaranteed employment with MCFR upon certification. It is geared primarily for those with roots in Marion County but is open to candidates from Citrus and Levy counties as well.

A recruiting event will take place Wednesday, Jan. 10 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the College of Central Florida’s Webber Conference Center, 3001 SW College Road, in Ocala. Informational sessions will be held every 30 minutes.

MCFR is a department of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners and is the second largest fire rescue department north of Orlando with more than 500 employees and volunteers housed in 31 fire stations. The department’s full-time state certified firefighter/paramedics, firefighter/EMTs, EMTs and paramedics serve more than 300,000 citizens, cover 1,600 square miles (which is larger than the state of Rhode Island) and respond to an average of 210 emergencies a day.

MCFR Fire Chief James Banta, who is leading the program, said that by earning a paycheck while completing requirements, the program affords those interested in first-responder careers the opportunity to “follow their dream.”

Banta said the department experienced a high retention rate with its original graduates, adding that the academy results in “well-trained future firefighters who see Marion County and our surrounding communities as their home and want to give back to their fellow citizens.”

In addition to Florida Firefighter 1 and 2 and EMT certifications, training includes the Emergency Vehicle Operators Course (EVOC) and Paramedic certification. All costs of training are covered.

Eligible trainee candidates must be US citizens at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, speak and read English and have a valid Florida driver’s license. MCFR conducts drug and criminal background checks. Also, applicants must have abstained from tobacco use for at least 12 prior months and may not use tobacco products during employment with the department.

Information about the Jan. 10 recruiting event can be found on CareerSource CLM’s calendar of events or by calling 800-434-JOBS, ext. 1115.

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