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New program gives veterans, active service members experience in firefighting

Posted at 10:18 PM, Feb 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-17 23:18:55-05

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A group of Missourians felt what it was like to be firefighters Saturday as they went through the first class of the Firefighter Veterans Initiative in Jefferson City. 

The program aims to recruit recent veterans and active service members to careers in the fire service. 

Saturday, seven participants from across the state went through basic classroom instruction and physical skills training while being paired with mentors from the fire service. 

The group worked on an automobile extrication, climbing an aerial ladder, worked a firehose and more while dressed in full protective gear. 

Missouri Fire Marshal Tim Bean says the program was spurred on by a challenge from Gov. Greitens. 

“The Governor challenged us to create a program designed to introduce military veterans to the fire service as a career option,” Bean said. “Being a firefighter requires some of the same skills and core values that active military members and veterans already possess – working as part of a team, bravery, reliability, commitment and a desire to help others. At the same time, fire departments around Missouri are looking to attract dependable job candidates to their departments. This initiative is an ideal way to match the two.”

Similar Firefighter Veterans Initiative events are scheduled for Cassville on April 28 and Springfield on May 12. 

Others are being planned for Kansas City and Poplar Bluff. 

Anyone interested in participating in an upcoming session can apply online.