Wildfire fighting program gives formerly incarcerated people a second chance


April 13, 2023

2020 Leading with Conviction graduate Brandon Smith co-founded the Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program (FFRP) to help other formerly incarcerated firefighters find employment after their release:

“‘It is hard for people to understand the conversion from being a public nuisance — being incarcerated or a felon, or a person incarcerated — 180 degrees to the ultimate public servant as a firefighter,’ Smith said.

“FFRP provides advanced wildland firefighting training to people who already learned entry-level skills while incarcerated.  They also work with fire agencies to increase employment from this group of people.

“The organization also provides tools that go beyond the job too.

“‘If they need to get health insurance, reunite with their children, if they need housing, legal services, conflict management, all of those types of things,’ explains Smith. ‘We link them up with an employment coordinator that helps them out with their resume.’”

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