Fla. City Launches Volunteer Firefighter Program


The village of Tequesta has created a volunteer firefighter program to supplement its full-time force.

It's all meant to reduce the fire department's overtime costs while maintaining a high level of service.

A recent audit revealed some ways for the village to lower its insurance payments.

"One of the things found during this audit was that we could use some additional staffing in order to help boost that rating," Tequesta Fire Department Lt. William Newbern said.

The new volunteer program is limited to six members and offers volunteers on-the-job experience for a future career in fire service.

Those applicants who are selected must complete the fire department's physical agility test.

"We want them to be able to achieve the same standard as our career firefighters in physical fitness," Newbern said.

It just so happens that all six candidates are paramedics.

"Helping with the public, you name it -- if I can help out, I want to," volunteer hopeful Travis Sheltra said.

Earlier this month, the village decided to put its top police officers, including the chief, back on the streets to eliminate overtime.

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