New class of recruits starts fire department academy with help of federal grant

SAN JOSE, Calif.

The new recruits were welcomed Friday at a special orientation, and will start an 18-week firefighter academy program on Monday, fire Capt. Mary Gutierrez said.

They will graduate March 1, and formally join the apartment the following Monday.

The cost of the academy and the recruitment classes wages are being financed with a two-year $8.6-million federal grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Gutierrez said the department hopes to keep the new firefighters on staff once the grant expires through a combination of attrition and retirement.

The San Jose Fire Department currently has around 650 employees, Gutierrez said.

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