Missouri National Guard soldier Bryan Like ascends an aerial ladder as part of the Missouri Firefighter Veterans Initiative on Feb. 19, 2018

Missouri National Guard soldier Bryan Like ascends an aerial ladder as part of the Missouri Firefighter Veterans Initiative on Feb. 19, 2018.

On Feb. 17, 2018, the Division of Fire Safety conducted the inaugural Missouri Firefighter Veterans Initiative event at the Jefferson City Fire Department training facility. In 2017, Gov. Eric Greitens had directed DFS to create a program to introduce veterans and active service members to potential careers in the fire service, along with promoting volunteer firefighting opportunities. The program would combine physically challenging firefighter skills, practical information about careers in the fire service and support resources for veterans transitioning out of the military.

Gov. Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, understood that the same characteristics that are essential to success in the military – teamwork, dependability, bravery and a willingness to risk everything to help others – are exacting what the fire service is looking for in recruit candidates.

This day-long experience includes participants donning full protective gear and taking part in an automobile extrication and patient care, ascending an aerial ladder, operation of a firehose stream, a simulated forcible entry into a structure, and a simulated fire search and rescue exercise with obscured vision.


"I thought the hands-on portion was fantastic. The firefighter who worked with us was terrific. It was a huge eye-opener, challenged me physically more than I expected."

- E.S., Firefighter Veterans Initiative participant


Each participant is partnered with an experienced firefighter as they take on the skills challenges. They also meet with firefighters and fire service instructors with diverse specialties within the fire service. Networking opportunities are established. Division of Fire Safety employees and instructors from Missouri fire training institutes discuss training and firefighter certification opportunities.


"I loved it. Thought it was fantastic. It just went by so fast that I wanted more."

- B.P., Firefighter Veterans Initiative participant


U.S. military benefit and funding opportunities are also discussed. Fire service personnel who have made the transition from the military into the fire service also share their personal stories.

We invite you to utilize the valuable leadership, commitment, and teamwork you acquired in the military to benefit the civilian population. Come experience a day in the life of the fire service and see if this calling is for you.

Firefighter Veterans Initiative events are currently scheduled for:

  • Fort Leonard Wood
    Aug. 22, 2018
  • Independence
    Sept. 15, 2018
  • St. Louis
    Sept. 29, 2018

Those interested in applying to participate in an upcoming session can do so at:

The Missouri Firefighter Veterans Initiative’s first class after completing their skills evolution at the Jefferson City Fire Department Training Academy on Feb. 17, 2018.

The Missouri Firefighter Veterans Initiative’s first class after completing their skills evolution at the Jefferson City Fire Department Training Academy on Feb. 17, 2018.