A new program that recruits and connects recent veterans and active service members to careers in the fire service will be in Cassville on Saturday, April 28, and is seeking participants. Missouri’s “Firefighter Veterans Initiative” introduces participants to firefighting through a one-day intensive of physical skills training, basic classroom instruction and  networking opportunities, all while paired with a mentor from the fire service.

“Gov. Greitens was the driving force for this veterans’ initiative,” State Fire Marshal Tim Bean said. “In response to his challenge, the Division of Fire Safety and members of the fire service across the state worked to create a program to introduce military veterans to the fire service as a career option. Firefighting requires some of the same skills and values that people with military experience possess – working as part of a team, dependability, commitment and a desire to help others. And Missouri fire departments are interested in attracting solid job candidates to their departments.”

All firefighter skills training during the day-long event is conducted with participants in full protective gear. Skills training is expected to include an automobile extrication, operation of a firehose stream, a forcible entry simulation, maneuvering a pumper truck, patient care, a fire search and rescue exercise, and basic arson investigation techniques.

A pilot veterans’ initiative event was held at the Jefferson City Fire Department training facility on Feb. 19, with participants giving it high reviews. Watch the video to experience the realistic event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djdpGizkaw8

Each participant will be partnered with an experienced firefighter as they take on the skills challenges at the Crowder College Fire Academy in Cassville.

The day starts at 9 a.m., includes lunch, and concludes at 1p.m. Participants will also meet with firefighters and fire service instructors with diverse specialties. Division of Fire Safety employees and instructors from Missouri fire training institutes will discuss training and firefighter certification opportunities. Advance registration is required.

Those interested in applying to participate in an upcoming session can do so at: https://dfs.dps.mo.gov/programs/other/mo-fire-fighter-veterans-initiative.php or by calling (573) 751-1601 or emailing Matt.Luetkemeyer@dfs.dps.mo.gov.