Former Navy SEAL who was told he was too old to join the FDNY is flooded with job offers

A former Navy SEAL who was told he was ‘too old’ to join the New York Fire Department has received floods of job offers across the nation.

At the age of 35 Shaun Donovan, who was enlisted in the Navy in 2005, was told he had surpassed the maximum age limit to join the city’s fire department by six months and 25 days.

However after having his application denied Mr Donovan, now 37, who scored in the top one per cent on his FDNY entrance exam, has received a flurry of job invitations from firefighters across the nation. 

According to the New York Post, more than 12 fire departments have since reached out to Mr Donovan, who has served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and let him know that he is more than welcome to join them.   

The former Navy SEAL, who is still continuing his fight to join the FDNY, applied to join the prestigious department when he turned 35 – the maximum age limit to join the department for those who have served in the military.   

Greg Pixley, head recruiter at Denver Fire Department, which does not have an upper age limit and often employs those in their 30s and 40s, said the application process should judge a firefighter’s capability and not their age. 

He said: ‘If the hiring process that Shaun is going through is not going to honor his service and recognize his capability, I want him to know that we will. 

‘That’s the kind of person we want.’ 

He added: ‘We believe that if someone has the physical and mental prowess to perform the job, they should be given the respect and the opportunity to be a firefighter.’ 

After completing his time in the military, Mr Donovan had hoped to join the FDNY and protect the city that was once hit by four coordinated terrorist attacks in 2001.

The former Navy SEAL is now continuing his fight against the authorities and appealing to New York’s Civil Service Commission.

A decision is expected to be reached by the end of summer this year. 

Current FDNY rules state an applicant who is on the special military list cannot be 36 or older by the time they apply for the eligibility exam.

Those who are on active military duty can also subtract the amount of time spent on duty from their actual age.


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