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Fire district plans to relaunch cadet program

February 6, 2020
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District is relaunching a Cadet Program that will start in March.

The program's goal is to teach participants about their profession and provide access to mentors and volunteer opportunities.

According to Battalion Chief Lance Delgado, a little more than a dozen youths will be chosen to participate in the Cadet Program.

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Each cadet will build on various skill sets throughout their tenure in the program, building a solid foundation for a successful future in any field.


"March 4 is our first orientation, and we will be capped at 15 kids. When making our selection, we looked at various things including their grades in school, plus each participant must have a physical examination," Delgado said.

The youth-oriented program is designed for kids and young adults from 14-20 and it will prepare each cadet for a professional career in firefighting and emergency medical services through both academics and hands-on learning.

"Throughout the program, cadets will meet every week on a Wednesday, for about 2-3 hours. Day one will begin with a physical training session and then to a fire fighter orientation. We will go over things including CPR, first responders. What you do on a medical scene, and all of the equipment on an ambulance such as Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support equipment," Delgado said.

When weather permits, cadet instructors will take the classroom outside for education on fire engines, ladder trucks, and how to use a fire hose

"Cadets will receive training and learn everything about the equipment on the fire truck," Delgado said.

The program is also open to youth who may not be interested in firefighting as a career. Each participant will build on various skill sets throughout their tenure in the program, building a solid foundation for a successful future in any field. Pride, commitment, courage, leadership, teamwork, integrity, self-discipline are applicable and useful life skills to develop towards any profession.

"This is a great opportunity for kids who might want to become a first responders, or firefighter, but it also looks good on a resume. Participating in the program does not mean you have to become a firefighter," Delgado said.

"Our Fire Cadet Program will offer youth and young adults an opportunity to experience life as a firefighter and learn about our team," said Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District Chief Robert DiLallo in a prepared statement. "The program has many benefits, but most importantly gives cadets a feeling for what it's like to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Ideally, some cadets will choose to remain here and serve their community."

According to Delgado, the overall goal of the cadet program is to tap into the talent and potential of youth in Lehigh Acres.

"Lehigh has a lot of great young people. This is good way to tap into our community. We want people to work and stay in our community. This program can help build a team of future first responders in our area," Delgado said.

A mandatory orientation meeting is scheduled for March 4, and the program will meet weekly year-round.

The initial program is limited to a class of 15 cadets.

Application information is available online at



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