Recruitment efforts targeting veteran Firefighter candidates underway

For nearly four decades, the Cal-JAC has been committed to professionalizing recruitment efforts, breaking down barriers to qualified candidates and building vital bridges between firefighter candidates and the departments for whom they wish to work.

In the early months of 2018, the Cal-JAC has continued this valuable work, while dedicating a heightened level of attention to our nation’s veterans. 

In early March, Cal-JAC partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation, a non-profit charged with serving United States veterans and their families, and the California Fire Foundation to host dozen of veterans in the Los Angeles area for an informational evening about how to launch a career in the fire service. 

 “The veterans of this country comprise the moral fabric of America. They have a lot of parity with what the fire service is all about,” said Bryan Frieders, deputy chief with the Pasadena Fire Department, who spoke during the event. “For me to have a chance to come talk about their opportunities when they leave military service and come into the fire department is a huge privilege for me.”

In all, nearly 50 veterans from all branches of the armed forces attended the event, allowing them to gain valuable insight into how their military service might aid a transition into California’s fire service. 

“Hearing from working members of the fire service was very helpful,” said Leilani Violet-Thompkins, a retired flight deck crewmember in United States Navy. “There’s definitely a correlation between the military and the fire service, specifically the training aspects. Training is so important, and constantly honing those skills, and learning new skills, is something most veterans are very familiar with.”

In addition to hearing from members of the fire service, attendees to the veteran workshop were introduced to the wide range of services available through the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center, as well as encouraged to attend the Cal-JAC’s upcoming firefighter career expo at the FCTC facility in South El Monte. 

More information about the Cal-JAC’s effort
to recruit and train veterans can be found at