SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The San Jose Fire Department is planning on holding a recruitment class early next year, a significant event as it will be the first one held in the city in five years.

The last recruitment was held in 2008.

“We have projected retirements that will be coming up over the next couple of years, so we want to be prepared for that,” said San Jose Fire Chief Willie McDonald. “We haven’t done a recruitment since 2008. We want to reach out to our community in any way that we can and really target more diversity, as well as woman and military veterans.”

McDonald said new steps will also be taken to try and reduce the high number of firefighter injuries.

“Mostly orthopedic kinds of things, strains, breaks, injuries,” he said. “But we also had some pretty significant ones this year – we had a firefighter who had a heart attack this year and one that had a broken neck. We have a lot of back, knee and joint injuries. So we’re trying to find a way to reduce those kinds of things.”

McDonald said the department plans on implementing a program used by the military and National Football League that helps identify movements an individual may have that increases their potential for injuries.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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