10 local student-athletes awarded scholarships for JFRD training

First responder training can take up to 1.5 years and cost up to $9K

Ten local student-athletes are on their way to becoming first responders after receiving scholarships from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department at a ceremony Thursday at City Hall.

The scholarship allows the new recruits to go through the necessary training to possibly work for JFRD.

Tyler Middleton, a four-year defensive end and lineman for First Coast High School, is passionate about this. He said he feels like what he learned on the field can translate to being a firefighter.

“I feel like I can handle it,” Middleton said. “I am a tough person at heart. I can go through any challenge.”

Student athletes were given scholarships to help cover costs of training to possibly become part of JFRD. (WJXT)

The requirements include recruits graduating from EMT school and passing a national certification test. Then they must go through two training programs with JFRD, which include additional testing before being eligible to apply to work for the agency.

The process typically takes about a year and a half to complete and costs up to $9,000.

Jessica Kondracki knew since she was young that she wanted to be a firefighter.

She played a year of soccer at Sandalwood High School.

“I want to be the first person on the scene,” Kondracki said. “I want to help people right away as soon as I can. I do not want to be the second person. Just working as a team. It is like you cannot hog the ball. You have to work with everyone.”

Student athletes were given scholarships to help cover costs of training to possibly become part of JFRD. (WJXT)

JFRD Chief Keith Powers said this is the second year of the scholarship program, and he thinks this new group can be a valuable asset to the agency.

“Every one of them has a drive inside of them to be a part of a team,” Powers said. “It is something bigger than themselves, and they all said that during their interviews. When we are serving the public, you are out there having to put your life on the line or doing whatever you have to do to save a life. You love it. You are going to put everything you have into it. That is what they bring to the table.”

This year’s JFRD Scholarship recipients are Jhalill Richardson, Zavien Harris, Tyrone Ousley, Jessica Kondracki, Griffin Farah, Nevaeh Lasauce, Sean Hicks, Theodore Clinch, Tyler Middleton and Amos Oruamabo.

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