BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Louisiana Fire and Emergency Training Academy in Baton Rouge hosts a 14-week training program for people interested in becoming a firefighter or emergency medic.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission offers a grant to help pay for fire and emergency training services.  

According to Deputy Superintendent of Louisiana Fire and Emergency Training Academy, Thomas Stone, individuals will first pay for training and once training is complete, they are eligible for reimbursement.   

“Everything in this world costs so much money and when you look at the fire departments, a lot of their budget goes towards salaries and employee benefits,” Stone said.

This grant is to provide a sense of stability for those lacking resources, but some hope this grant will help diversify the fire marshal workforce. 

“There are a lot of people saying this is a man’s job, but it doesn’t have to be. I think that there need to be more women in the fire service because it’s really limited,” Phobee Spell, FETA student.   

“Baton Rouge is predominantly black, and we do need more African American firefighters, both male and female, to have that face and that figure to be like, ‘Oh, that’s a hero coming to help me,'” Kentrell Anderson, FETA student.