An Illinois politician is pushing to make it easier for veterans to get jobs as firefighters. U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) says Illinois currently makes military firefighters returning home to go through hours of training that they’ve already had if they want to continue to fight fires. Kirk says the military’s training should be enough.
“Think about a fire aboard a ship,” said Kirk, a former intelligence officer in the Naval Reserve. “You have a number of cramped spaces. It may be way more difficult to fight a fire on a ship with ammunition and air fuel - that kind of danger just isn’t present in an office building or a house.” Kirk is calling for Gov. Pat Quinn to change the rules so the state fire marshal can accept Department of Defense certification in place of state training.
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Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois President Pat Devaney believes the governor will welcome the change. “Given the governor’s long history of being supportive of veterans’ issues and military, I’m sure we can do that,” Devaney said. Kirk addressed the issue before the AFFI convention in Normal. He sent a letter to the governor co-signed by U.S. Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon), Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), Aaron Schock (R-Peoria), Randy Hultgren (R-Winfield) and John Shimkus (R-Collinsville).