State eases process for military firefighters to be certified


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The state wants to make it easier for military firefighters to become certified to be firefighters in Florida.

"They have the skill sets. Let's not have any road barriers in the way and lets make them part of our Florida firefighting service, and help them advance their careers," State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater said. 

A new initiative called "Operation Dispatch" streamlines the process for military firefighters to be certified in Florida by granting credit for military fire-service training.

"We thought this through and thought, these veterans are already trained, they've been firefighters, they went through the military firefighting training, which actually is more hours than the Florida firefighter training. And so let's just introduce them to the Florida unique standards in firefighting and let them get on their way," Atwater said. 

The program helps members of the military and veterans continue their commitment to service in Florida.

Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater announced the Department of Financial Services initiative at Florida State College at Jacksonville's Fire Academy of the South on Thursday.


"This program is very important. Being a veteran myself when I was discharged from active duty, employment was a big mystery and just how to go about cashing in on those military incentives as being a veteran," Division Chief of Rescue, Ivan Mote, said. "So this program spells it out. If we'd had something like this that could help me transition from the military into a civilian profession, this would have been great."

Local Jacksonville firefighters followed the announcement with a demonstration of the physical components of the state firefighter certification exam.