Atlantic City Fire Department welcomes thirteen new hires - NBC40.net

Atlantic City Fire Department welcomes thirteen new hires

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ATLANTIC CITY -

Thirteen men were added to the ranks of the Atlantic City Fire Department thanks to a "SAFER Grant" that was awarded to the city two years ago.

"I'm just really excited. I've been waiting for this day as long as I can remember."

For Eric Koob it's been a life long dream that has finally come true for him and twelve other men.

"I was happy with my career I was at, but when I got the call I was ecstatic," said recruit, Mauro Sandoval. "I hugged my kids and I kissed my wife."

For fire recruit Tim Brining, the career choice was almost fate.

"My dad was a volunteer when I was growing up and I always thought it was the greatest thing to do, to hang out at the fire house all the time."

As of Friday the newest group of Atlantic City firefighters are able to do just that.

"We got a ten million dollar grant a couple years ago to retain a certain number of fire fighters on the job. Due to requirements and people that left the job, we get to hire thirteen individuals today," said Atlantic City Fire Chief, Dennis Brooks.

The first day of work was just an introduction to the department. The men were also fitted for their uniforms, an asset to getting the job done.

"It's just so hard to explain this feeling I have. I have to pinch myself because it's a dream, a dream come true," said recruit, Adrian Wilson Jr.

But finding the right size uniform is just the first part of becoming a firefighter. These men are going to be put through eight weeks of intense training to find out if they have what it takes to do the job.

Captain Angelo DeMaio who is in charge of the training told the recruits that, "the best thing is just to give 150% effort into it, and this is a dangerous profession."

And the recruits say they have what it takes.

"I don't think it's a second thought in my mind not to go into a burning building to save a life or to make a difference," said Wilson.

And recruit Patrick McDevitt continued to say that learning from some of Atlantic City's most experienced fire fighters is the best part of his new career path.

"It means a lot of have them congratulate us and tell us they are honored to have us as much as we are honored to have them in charge of us."

Fire Chief Dennis Brooks say's he expects to hire another group of fire fighters pending a number of retirements in February.

The training for these recruits will last eight weeks and NBC40 will continue to follow their progress once a week for the remainder of their training.

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