NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A new crop of New Haven firefighters are feeling the heat this week as they get ready to hit the streets protecting the community.

Their final exam involves real fire. For the last four and a half months, more than 30 new firefighting recruits have been studying all aspects of firefighting. This week, they are getting a taste of the real thing in the final phase of their training.

It is “burn training” week at the New Haven Fire Training Academy. New recruits put all that studying to the test, coming face to face with real fire in a simulated home. All have been trained in not only the different aspects of firefighting but also emergency medical treatment and handling hazmat situations.

While so many businesses are having a hard time finding workers, the New Haven Fire Department says they still have plenty of recruits.

“The fire department has always attracted people. There is a sense of giving back to the community, public service, and really helping people. That goes into being a firefighter and that does attract a lot of people,” said Assistant Chief Justin McCarthy, New Haven Fire Department.

“They are getting their first real exposure to heat and active fire and smoke, so it’s going to be disorienting and uncomfortable, all while trying to focus on skills that they’ve been working on for the past four months,” said Lt. Chris Zyskowski, acting drill master, New Haven Fire Department.

Of the 32 fire recruits finishing up their training this week, 31 are hoping to become New Haven firefighters. One is heading for the East Haven Fire Department.

Instructors say to make it, they need to work hard and understand how to overcome challenges.