LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Fire Department has allowed its 49 newest recruits to graduate four weeks early in order to join the front lines against the coronavirus pandemic.
The class of 44 men and five women will start work at their respective fire stations on Sunday, according to the department.
Department officials said they are expecting a surge in COVID-19 patients over the next few weeks, which is why they’ve accelerated the timeline for the recruits.
The new recruits can also help if there is an increase in the number of LAFD employees who contract the virus. So far, 15 members have tested positive.
“The LAFD is taking every step necessary to ensure that we fulfill our mission of protecting life and property in Los Angeles during the COVID pandemic and I am proud of the 49 recruits who officially joined our ranks today,” said LAFD Chief Terrazas said.
“The recruits completed their training in the midst of extraordinary circumstances and I am excited to have them join us on the front lines as we work together to mitigate the spread of the COVID virus.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)