WATCH: Fire Rescue Mentorship Program Teaches Youth Accountability, Teamwork, Real-Life Skills

By  //  July 13, 2020

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Candidates placed in situations similar to what firefighters do on the job

WATCH: Space Coast Daily TV reporter Sade Teel recently visited the Ocala Marion Fire Rescue Mentorship Program and talked with members about what the program is, and the benefits of being involved.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Space Coast Daily TV reporter Sade Teel recently visited the Ocala Marion Fire Rescue Mentorship Program and talked with members about what the program is, and the benefits of being involved.


The Ocala Marion Fire Rescue Mentorship Program teaches youth accountability, teamwork and real-life skills.

“This program teaches the youth accountability, teamwork and real-life skills they can use anywhere they go,” said coordinator of the Ocala Fire Mentorship Program – Chris Hickman.

The candidates not only do workouts involving endurance, strength and firefighter specific training but also are coached and mentored by the Ocala Fire Rescue staff.

Candidates as young as 14 years old are training multiple times out of the week and putting themselves in situations similar to what firefighters do on the job.

“This program is very important for the youth and it is key to preparing them for Fire Academy,” Hickman said.

While in the Fire Academy, all candidates must pass a CPAT test that requires high levels of cardiopulmonary endurance, muscular strength and muscular endurance. The CPAT consists of eight critical physical tasks that simulate actual job duties on the fire ground.

“The most difficult thing is my smaller stature, but overall it is all in the heart, and you have to keep a stable mind and you will be able to push through,” said 19-year-old candidate Alex Walker. “Yeah, the workouts are hard… but anything is possible.”

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