Indianapolis Fire Department recruits to take basic conversational Spanish classes during training

May marks IFD's first recruit class since 2008

INDIANAPOLIS - For the first time, the Indianapolis Fire Department's new recruit class will learn Spanish alongside firefighting skills.

The department announced Monday it will incorporate a Spanish language component into the required curriculum for new recruits, beginning with the class set to start training in May, the first since 2008.

Retired Indianapolis police civilian employee Deborah Robertson, along with Spanish-speaking firefighters, will teach the recruits basic conversational Spanish one day a week for two hours each day during the 20 weeks of recruit training.

"The Hispanic population continues to grow in Indianapolis, and it is important that we, as first responders, make every effort to understand what it is our customers are telling us, especially in an emergency where time is of the essence," said IFD Chief Brian Sanford.

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