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22 New San Jose Firefighters Graduate, But How Long Will They Stay On The Job?

SAN JOSE (KCBS)— 22 new firefighters will be added to the San Jose Fire Department on Tuesday. The good news is that the new recruits are sorely needed on the short-staffed department, but it's uncertain how long they'll stick around.

Fire department spokesman Christopher Salcido said the department will benefit from the nearly two-dozen who graduated last week from the academy. They will be the first tier-2 firefighters in San Jose, meaning they would have to work until they are 60 years old to receive full retirement benefits.

Sean Kaldor, vice president of the Local 230 Firefighters Union, said some of the firefighters are already looking for jobs elsewhere.

"It is unusual to have a new recruit come in to the fire department and be willing to admit that they're continuing to test other places and yet that's exactly what we see happening right now," he said.

It appears the exodus is starting at the very top; Interim Fire Chief Ruben Torres will be leaving next month to take the chief's position in Livermore.

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