New Indianapolis firefighter recruits will be required to learn basic, conversational Spanish in an effort to break language barriers during emergencies.
Indianapolis Fire Chief Brian Sanford says the Hispanic population in Indianapolis continues to grow and it's important that first responders make every effort to understand what people are saying. He says that's especially true during emergencies when time is of the essence.
A Spanish immersion program has been in place for years for police officers and firefighters in Indianapolis, but it was never a requirement of the firefighter recruit class. The new curriculum will make the Spanish class a requirement rather than a continuing education option.