Former Prisoners Become Firefighters

(Reuters/Photo)

October 11, 2017
OAN Newsroom

Arizona is starting a program to help newly released prisoners re-adjust to their communities by becoming firefighters.

The program called The Phoenix Crew is a $1.5 million dollar initiative between the Department of Corrections and Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

Through the program, non-violent and low risk former inmates will go through a competitive application process to be selected for the 20 person crew.

This comes as wildfires in the west have become larger and deadlier.

The program is expected to launch within the next two months.

  • Mike

    Not a bad idea. Half of them just hang around pumping iron for years and are on a strict diet of lousy food. Although I always said once you have been to jail or prison it is impossible to get a job to support yourself when you are released. So, you go back to what you were doing for survival reasons. Maybe if they can have a job with actual income, that will change their lives.

  • Katie Peyree

    Forgiveness is encouraged, Love freely given, trust…earned! I think this is a great idea as long as clear boundaries, and opportunities for earning trust built in. Don’t give them keys to the kingdom right away. Let there be opportunities for them to prove themselves through honor, integrity, and hardwork which are the some of the desired qualities of good citizenship.

  • Twinkle Toes

    I hate to burst everyone’s bubble but this program is in Arizona, not California.

    • tedlv

      1. Arizona has fires, too.
      2. Firefighters have been known to cross state lines.

    • USA#1

      Read again

      • Twinkle Toes

        Maybe YOU need to read it again:

        Arizona is starting a program to help newly released prisoners re-adjust to their communities by becoming firefighters.

        The program called The Phoenix Crew is a $1.5 million dollar initiative between the Department of Corrections and Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

        Through the program, non-violent and low risk former inmates will go through a competitive application process to be selected for the 20 person crew.

        This comes as wildfires in the west have become larger and deadlier.

        The program is expected to launch within the next two months.

  • Elizabeth A. Parks

    Sounds like a good idea, let’s see how it works out. Former inmates need a path to self sustainability.

  • bigdude7766

    California’s burning. Maybe they should field a few WIldland fire crews. Some from Prison and some of those illegals they are hiding!

    • USA#1

      That would be sooo cruel, politically incorrect. Nancy
      Pelucchi, might not like it

  • Bruce

    Good, gives them a purpose and a goal in life.

    • Bob Ritthsler

      And a way to be able to live on their with pride and dignity.

  • IgnoreTheFools

    Sounds great

  • J. Waltam

    Keep’em up fighting on the front line. Those that prove their value and worth may get a break downsream.

  • fire111

    Hopefully the pencil pushing numb sculls that thought this up realize there is more to firefighting than just wet stuff on the red stuff! Integrity and pride are mainstays. Somethings not found in thieves and other offenders of the law.

    • Carol Hyndman

      I think it is a good idea. Maybe they will develop integrity and a pride in their efforts and go on to rebuilding ” crumbling infrastructure and construction projects”. Who knows, with encouragement, they may decide going back to school to train for a career are better than the risks of a criminal “career.”

      • Katie Peyree

        Agreed! At some point, people who’ve screwed up need to be given a 2nd chance, and told they can make a different choice, have a different outcome, future…!

    • Katie Peyree

      Have you never done something wrong, and received forgiveness/grace/2nd chance/do-over? A little compassion here goes a long way!

      • Bruce

        Indeed it does! As a former deputy sheriff, I can attest that not all persons convicted of crimes are irredeemable.

  • Griffin

    Excellent…should be a nationwide program.

  • alostsoul

    I could have sworn that California wanted to secede from the USA! They said they had the the biggest economy in the USA and didn’t NEED THE USA! Now a few fires are burning and they want fed funding? SMH! What a joke California is!

    • Elizabeth A. Parks

      I live here, and unfortunately I agree with you. I am so sad for my state. We have some really shady people running it.

      • PGCDan

        You have my sympathies.

      • Mike

        I used to live there. Unfortunately San Fran and LA seem think they speak for all of CA. Your state is beautiful and some of us do realize the statements coming from two big cities do not reflect the beliefs and values of everyone in CA.

      • Dwight Thompson

        Vote them OUT

      • alostsoul

        Liz, Hey! Lets change that! I do not live there, but I would help you or anyone else that lives there to organize something to move the agenda forward. email me at alostsoul341@gmail.com

  • Jules

    Firefighters are also trained in EMS, dealing with patients’ HIPAA information. These positions demand the highest integrity, teamwork and courage – hence the whole concept of “public trust”. Not to mention the increased theft within fire companies. This is reckless and irresponsible. Put them to work on crumbling infrastructure and construction projects to save taxpayer costs there. DUMB!

    • Elizabeth A. Parks

      You have some good points, maybe restrictions on what positions they fill.

    • Jerry

      They are being trained as a wildland hand crew, or “hot shots”, not traditional 911 responders. Completely different aspect of firefighting. They would (almost) never deal with EMS calls, and then only if they happened to come across it by happenstance. The medical training they get is so they can treat each other on a fire line. This is a great idea.

      • Texasgalstuckincalibutnot4long

        While reading your post, I came close to seeing thing’s in a new light; until you said the words “almost, if”. Loop-holes are loop-holes for a reason, and they’re usually to advance the user.

        • Jerry

          I say “almost” because I went to a traffic accident (Multi-casualty incident) where an inmate crew that was driving by stopped to help. They were put to work carrying people, not providing primary care. Once enough personnel were on scene they were released back to their supervisor and sent on their way. No loophole, I just don’t speak in absolutes like “always” or “forever.”

  • Flagfriend

    Better than a cab ride back to their old neighborhood to meet up again with their old thug friends.

    Perish the thought, but is someone in government FINALLY beginning to think clearly here?

  • Chuck Altman

    that sounds like a darn good idea to me…….