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The Manatee County Fire Chiefs’ Association awarded two Firefighting Academic Scholarships to area high school graduates during their June 28th meeting at City of Bradenton Fire Station #1.

Conner McCauley, a Braden River High School graduate from Bradenton, and Steve Penberthy, a home school graduate from Parrish was awarded the very first Chief Russell J. Randolph Firefighting Academic Scholarships. The scholarship is name for Trailer Estates Fire Chief Russell J. Randolph who passed away in 2016 after serving 37 years in the fire service.

Chief Randolph was a strong supporter of the Manatee Fire Academy at Manatee Technical College. The scholarship was created earlier this year by the Manatee County Fire Chiefs’ Association to enhance the opportunities for high school students of Manatee County who have expressed a desire to serve their community by pursuing a career as a Florida Firefighter.

The scholarship is funded primary through proceeds from the “Red Cup” program at Mission BBQ in Bradenton.

Both recipients have completed the Manatee Fire Academy Firefighter I program while in high school and are enrolled in the Firefighter II class set to begin in August. The Russell Randolph Scholarship will cover most of the cost of this class and allow them to complete the requirements to become Florida minimum standards certified.