The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners welcomed 27 new Monroe County Fire Rescue Firefighter/EMTs and Paramedics at a badge pinning and oath presentation at Wednesday’s meeting. Family and friends of the newly hired recruits were also at the ceremony to congratulate the newest hires on their momentous occasion. This is the most prominent hiring class of firefighters in Monroe County. Funding for 24 positions is through a $5.6 million Federal Emergency Management Agency SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant to adequately staff five firehouses in the Florida Keys. The three other positions fill already budgeted openings.
“This is a historic moment for our fire department and our county as we welcome our 27 newest firefighters who will serve our community for many years,” said Monroe County Fire Chief Steve Hudson. “We are very thankful for the support we received from the commissioners, administration, and community to make this happen.”
Monroe County now has 144 full-time firefighter positions assigned to 24-hour emergency services, allowing for four firefighters on duty at a time rather than three.
Monroe County’s newest firefighters include:
Firefighter/EMTs: Diego Bejerano, Krysten Echo, Cesar Fernandez, James Findlay, Desmond Fox, Honzik Frystacky, Dayron Garcia, Rafael Hueso, Jaedon Johnson, Eric Lopez, Jordan Lyon, Robert Rodriguez, Austin Taylor, Matthew Vigness, and William Yuque.
Firefighter/Paramedics: Victor Clavelo Garcia, Randy Gonzalez, Stephen Habich, Jesus Hernandez Lopez, Matthew Hill, Liz Jacoby, Joel Lopez, Adrian Parra, Nicholas Roman, Samantha Seco, Mark Serrano, and Tyler Welbaum.
Nine of the new hires are Hot Shots graduates, Monroe County’s firefighting training program that waives tuition fees for qualified local candidates in exchange for a commitment to work or volunteer for a fire department in the Florida Keys.