Submitted by: Katie Heck
The Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District has released a 2024 wall calendar to benefit Cadet Post 102, a youth-oriented program focused on preparing young adults for a successful future in professional firefighting. The calendar was created by a public relations intern assigned to the District for the fall semester from FGCU and features photos of Lehigh Acres firefighters, apparatus, and stations. The calendar is available for pre-order now and will be available for local pickup before January 1. All proceeds from the calendar will benefit the cadet program, helping to defray the cost of traveling to competitions, purchasing extra gear, and sponsoring registration fees for cadets requiring assistance.
The cadet program’s special focus is encouraging future professional firefighters to stay local and serve their hometown. Since the program launched in 2021, our District has hired three cadets as full-time firefighter EMTs.
The Cadet Program advisors teach participants about their profession and provide access to mentors and volunteer opportunities. The program prepares cadets for a professional career in firefighting and emergency medical services through classroom and hands-on learning.
Firefighter/EMT Nate Luders was our first cadet hired out of the program. After completing his employee probation, he immediately signed on to volunteer as a Cadet Post Advisor. “I don’t have any family involved in the fire service, but it is something I had always been interested in,” Firefighter/EMT Luders said. “The Fire Cadet Program gave me a head start in my academic programs and hands-on experience related to both fire and EMS calls. The mentorship was invaluable as it came time to apply, and then interview, for the job.”
The program is also open to youth who may not be interested in firefighting as a career. Cadets will work on many different skills throughout their tenure in the program, building a solid foundation for a successful future in any field. Pride, commitment, courage, leadership, teamwork, integrity, self-discipline are applicable and useful life skills to develop for many professions.
“Our Fire Cadet Program will offer youth and young adults an opportunity to experience life as a firefighter and learn about our team,” stated Chief DiLallo. “The program has many benefits, but most importantly gives cadets a feeling for what it’s like to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Ideally, some cadets will choose to remain here and serve their community.”
The calendars are available for pre-order now for $15 at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/