Nightly News | November 29, 2013
>>> finally tonight, think about how many times you have heard the message "hire a veteran." tonight we'll show you what that means. hiring somebody who knows how to get things done, respects the chain of command , doesn't scare easily. one community realized those are ideal characteristics for the job of firefighter. now when there is help wanted , they know who to turn to. our report tonight from nbc's katie tur.
>> reporter: for most probationary firefighters or probies as the rookies are called, training to jump out of a window can be intimidating. for scott, this is nothing.
>> when i went down i wanted to pack it up and go again. it's fun. that's a parallel this job has to the military.
>> reporter: he would know. army staff stargt and his fellow probies are veterans. flil johnny was in the air force .
>> reporter: what was it like when you got the job?
>> i was ecstatic. when he heard i was a firefighter he was jealous.
>> reporter: i thought cops don't like firefighters?
>> that's why he was jealous.
>> reporter: new jersey's north hudson fire department brought on 11 vets in 2012 . it was such a success it hired 32 this year and hopes to hire as many as 30 more. the chief says putting vets on top of the hiring list was a no-brainer.
>> they are young, aggressive, energetic men. they have been working out well.
>> reporter: so well it's hard to believe any of these guys would have had trouble finding work. that's what happened to lance corporal frank flphillips after a tour in baghdad he was turned away from at least ten jobs.
>> they would hire, you know, joe schmo off the street. here i am. a disabled veteran, trying to get a job and they turn you away.
>> reporter: for phillips and the rest the department is more than a paycheck.
>> we are tight. i have 32 other brothers with the academy. if i have a problem i know one of them would be at my door, pounding it down.
>> reporter: from serving our country to our communities.
>> instead of taking lives, we're saving them now. and they pay me for it. i don't know.
>> reporter: for them, it's a chance to do what they do best.
>> i'm a firefighter now. i will be until they won't let me do it anymore.
>> reporter: katie tur, nbc news, north hudson , new jersey.