Kirk and several other fellow state and U.S. congressmen have penned a letter to Gov. Pat Quinn, urging him to let veterans get easier access to local fire departments. Right now, military certifications do not transfer in Illinois and veterans have to go through re-certification training. Kirk says it's unnecessary.
"The state bureaucracy wants its piece of these guys and it shouldn't have it. If they're good enough for the U.S. Air Force or U.S. Navy, they should be good enough,” said Kirk.
"We've had great experiences of people coming back after serving, and then successfully serving the citizens here in Illinois as a firefighter or paramedic. And we look forward to working with Governor Quinn to make this happen,” said Pat Devaney, president of the Association Fire Fighters of Illinois.
Thirty-eight other states, including several bordering ones, have laws in place that allow veterans to skip the re-certification process.
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