There is a shortage of volunteer firefighters so a local county has launched a program to train inmates to become firefighters. Albany County has started a program that will train inmates to become volunteer firefighters. According to the Times Union, low level Albany County inmates are part of the Sheriff's Inmate Fire Training program also known as SHIFT. They are state-certified trainers that teach CPR, hazmat, exterior fire operations, and first responder skills.

The low level offenders include those arrested for DWI or those who failed to pay child support to help give back to their communities. This program also helps with the shortage of volunteer firefighters.

It costs taxpayers nothing. The costs are being covered by seized drug assets and that includes a used fire truck to train with. Five inmates are currently being trained and they could serve daytime shifts on work release after training. Once released, they can choose to volunteer or apply to become paid firefighters.

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