Nearly All Newest Newark Firefighters are Veterans

Twenty-eight veterans were in Newark (NJ) 41st fire recruit class, which also included three civilians, reports CBS News.

It is not a coincidence. New Jersey's largest city has spent the past few years actively recruiting veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to serve in its fire department. It is the first time the fire department has recruited veterans since World War II.

"They bring that life experience, the camaraderie, the teamwork, and already knowing a quasi-military structure," said John G. Centanni, the Newark Fire Chief. "They know rank and how to take orders. They bring all of that to the table."

Newark runs a veterans program in its city hall in partnership with the GI Go Fund, a New Jersey nonprofit that helps veterans make the transition to civilian life.

"Veterans are perfect to do this job," said Jack S. Fanous, director of the fund. "They're not going to be afraid of this job when they come back home."

The city's veterans office recruited returning veterans through phone calls and job fairs and told veterans who contacted it about the firefighting job possibilities. New Jersey and other states give veterans preference in their civil service exams.

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