- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minneapolis Fire Department has created a high school class in an effort to boost teenagers’ interest in joining the force and to increase diversity.

KSTP-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1wzgGyd ) the department launched the program for Roosevelt High School seniors, who can receive college credit for the course. While 75 percent of Roosevelt students are minorities, only about a third of the city’s firefighters are people of color.

Fire Chief John Fruetel says the department needs to recruit and train people earlier. Students in the course learn about and practice emergency procedures. They can take a test at the end of the year-long program to become a certified emergency medical responder.

The department paid $50,000 for the program amid concerns about waves of retirements. Seven Minneapolis firefighters retired this year.

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Information from: KSTP-TV, https://www.kstp.com

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