Julie Mancini
Firefighter/EMT Steven Stauff, a Dunnellon area resident, was one of several county residents who benefited from Marion County Fire Rescue’s recruit program launched last year. The program hired non-certified firefighters and paid for them to acquire their necessary certifications. Per the program, recruits had to sign a two-year contract with MCFR. Stauff calls his second home Liberty Station No. 32.

Those bygone years spent dreaming of becoming a firefighter were never lost on Steven Stauff, but bearing the costs fresh out of high school were too much.

So the now 26-year-old toiled in a variety of jobs, from waiting tables to car sales and property management.

“None of them, they never struck an interest with me,” he said about the variety of jobs.

The passion to become a firefighter still burned deep inside.