The Florida Times-Union reports that the program would put two inmates in each of three existing firehouses in the south Georgia county.
Officials say the inmates would respond to all emergencies _ including residential fires _ alongside traditional firefighters.
The inmates would have no guard, but would be monitored by a surveillance system and by the traditional firefighters, who would undergo training to guard the inmates. Authorities say one traditional firefighter with correctional training can supervise up to three inmates.
Authorities say the inmate firefighter program could save the county more than $500,000 a year by some estimates. Inmates charged with crimes such as drug offenses and thefts would be eligible.
Information from: The Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com