Georgia Cost-Saving Plan Adds Inmates to Firehouse Staffing

ST MARYS, Ga. (AP) — Officials in southeast Georgia are considering a money-saving program that would put inmates in fire stations. The Florida Times-Union reports ( that the program would put two inmates in each of three existing firehouses in Camden County.



Times are tough and many departments, career and volunteer, are having a hard time maintaining even minimum staffing. Is this Georgia plan even worth the risk when considering public image and public relations?

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On another note, I see in the full article it is required for the real firefighters and officers to get "specially trained" to monitor and guard these inmates. I am sorry but if we are short handed to begin with, the last thing I need is to babysit inmates and trying to provide the public with professional services, with an already short crew. No time to be adding on additional functions or duties that are not essential or priority fire department service.

They are not replacing paid FF’s, they are not employees. This is actually creating jobs for paid FF’s where they have never had them before. The inmates go through a screening process and again not everyone is allowed into this program.

I will be doing an interview with FFN later today. I will explain what the program is and is not, I will answer the questions and concerns. Believe me we have been run through the mill and this is not a half hazard program. The program has been in effect for over two years now. None and I repeat none of the fears and accusations have come to light. The public has brought up all of these same concerns and the vast majority has seen this is a great program. I say most because you cannot please everyone, and that goes with anything. There are many all over the country that do not believe in the fire department or see the need period. That is with or without this program.   

I have been manager and an officer for many a year. Babysitting has always been a big part of the job, some more than others. But, these guys police themselves, they won’t let someone mess this program up for them.

As far as the training goes it is a class to teach you what these guys are allows and not allowed to do. If you have a problem you just send them back in, that simple.

thats what our politicians are now calling those that sneak over our borders illeagally and take good jobs for small pay.

Its a trust issue. I cant see my crew all the time.... like when they are looking for a pts meds... but I trust they wont take any.


And another thought just hit me.... what do we tell the hundreds of good non-inmates that didnt pass their background check due to a poor credit score or too many traffic tickets or some other non-jailable offense?


My department uses inmates that are on work release to do cleaning and other "busy work" at the FRA. I dont like that but I think its a better idea than putting them on the street.


My volley company decided to trust someone with a known criminal record of theft by allowing her to hold a president position.   click here to see that result

Firefighters and medics have the public trust and I feel we will lose some of that if they know inmates are riding with us. 



No the question is are they liars or thieves, yes. Then do not hire them. They gave up their chance to do a job with public trust when they became criminals. I ask again will the police be hiring them as well? I cannot believe this subject is even getting a serious discussion.
You have stated what they are not, not what they are. Thieves and liars, that is a given. You want them in people houses with their money and personal treasures at hand. They will steal them just like they did before they were caught.
Who cares what they are replacing or not. Keep the thieves out of the fire house.
They police themselves? I guess that is why they were is jail.
fire service is one of the most trusted organisations and they want to put un trust worthy people in it...... i dont think thats right, here in nz we have to have a clean record to even get in as a volly as we are going into peoples property etc, a criminal wont stop just because they went to prison, they get it easy there meals each day and stuff, they likely to not care if went back inside, i know if my house was on fire i wouldnt want a x prisoner to be going in to it, cos even if they could salvage anything whats to stop them pocketing stuff
why not put them into labouring, building, teach them a trade it would be far more useful

I thought one of the characteristics of a FF was Pride, another one being Integrity?


I'm busting my ass to get this badge, why should crims get the honour?

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