Louisiana Workforce Commission partners with State Fire Marshal’s Office to offer first-time training reimbursement
Published 10:44 am Saturday, March 25, 2023
BATON ROUGE— The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), in collaboration with the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM), is announcing a new partnership that is bringing critical fire and emergency services training opportunities to Louisiana first responders at no cost to them and their agencies.
The partnership between LWC and the Louisiana Firefighter and Emergency Training Academy (FETA) aims to increase the number of firefighters able to attend the Academy and those needing additional medical-related certifications to qualify for jobs, promotions, and/or wage increases. It also seeks to increase the certification, qualification, skills, and abilities of those in the Louisiana Fire Service industry. LWC believes this will address an additional, ongoing goal of increasing the fire service workforce and volunteerism figures, which have been on a concerning decline over the past decade. This partnership also allows LWC to continue and further its goal of putting people to work and growing a qualified, competitive workforce by providing financial resources to cover critical fire and emergency response industry training.
“Our partnership with the State Fire Marshal’s Office to provide tuition reimbursement for future first responders serves to recognize and highlight the importance of their duties in our communities. When we think of first responders, we generally think about how they are first on a fire or health emergency scene. Still, their work goes far beyond that,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Cates. They are also vital to the state’s response and rescue team during a natural disaster, often saving lives. Local communities are struggling with adequate staffing, which causes a ripple effect and impacts citizens’ insurance rates. Realizing this critical workforce need, we would like to open this program to all eligible applicants.”
Traditionally, a firefighter recruit academy hosted at FETA can cost students and/or their sponsoring fire departments anywhere from $3,800 to $6,000. Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) courses can cost $500-$1,200. These costs are often unattainable for the hundreds of volunteer fire departments across the state, leaving their members dedicated to serving their community without the best training, tools, and preparation to provide top-quality service to their communities. This partnership changes that.
“We are ecstatic to have LWC’s support to open a new door to our state’s hard-working fire service and first responder community to get training they want and need but have had difficulty accessing due to limited funding sources,” said State Fire Marshal Dan Wallis. “I know this is not only going to bring relief to existing emergency agencies and their members, but I hope it will bring confidence to the communities they serve to know when help is needed, those answering that call are ready to respond and will be doing so safely for all involved.”
Entry-level firefighter training will be held in May and September. Emergency Medical Technician level training will be held in June, with the possibility of additional classes based on demand. This program is available to independents and volunteer firefighters seeking firefighter or EMT certification. For more information, visit FETA’s website or call 225-247-6685.
About the Louisiana Workforce Commission
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.