Ga. prison implements firefighter training program for inmates

There are more than a dozen other state prisons with fire crews that help local city and county fire departments

By C1 Staff

GLENNVILLE, Ga. — Smith State Prison implemented a new fire training program for inmates to volunteer as firefighters.

Along with training, a complete fire station within the facility serves to help train inmates to protect and serve as firefighters.

The prison is just one of more than a dozen other state facilities with fire crews that help local city and county fire departments.

WTVM reported that the program will help protect lives and property by increasing fire coverage and cheaper fire insurance.

Smith State Prison Warden Douglas Williams hopes that the program gives inmates an opportunity to learn valuable skills and prepare for a life outside of prison. 

“A lot of them who’ve done this have gotten on with other fire departments and they’ve moved up,” Williams told WTVM.

Inmate firefighter Adrian Vargas said that,“I feel privileged and honored to be part of the team, you know. To give back.” 

The inmate firefighters are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Before I started this, I would have never known how much work goes into being a firefighter,” inmate firefighter Brandon Waters said. 

“I’ve got a second chance at life. That’s what I’m getting. Not many others who leave here get that. I’ve got a second chance,” inmate firefighter Charles Thorpe said.

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