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Old 01-18-2013, 03:29 PM   #1
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Question for career firefighters

How long did it take you to get hired? And what qualifications did you have at the time of applying?

Right now all I have is my FF1. I'll have my red card soon, then I plan on doing EMT school. Most jobs I find want you to be as far up as paramedic at time of applying??

Just looking for some input from someone who actually does it for a living. All the guys I know are volunteer. Thanks
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:03 PM   #2
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Depends on where you are at. On the west coast is almost twice as competitive as the east coast. There is a definite preference for paramedics, as this is where the fire service is leaning towards. I volunteered in Hampton Va for a few years in college, and then applied to any fire dept that was hiring within a 200 mile radius. When it comes to getting hired you can't be too picky. Competition is fierce. I was lucky. It only took me two years to get hired. For some it can take a decade or more. Keep plugging away at getting all the fire certs you can get. It will always help down the road after you get hired. But my advice is
To look all over. Don't know the exact number but I think I had applied to 30 or 40 different fire depts all over the country before I got hired. Don't get
Frustrated if it takes a little while, and Good luck.

Oh... I was firefighter 1 and 2 certified, hazmat operations, and Emt basic. But this was over 10 years ago. So I'm sure over here on the east coast more is preferred. ESP paramedic cert.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:06 PM   #3
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Where do you look to see if they are hiring. Is there a specific website or do you just go to internet job boards?
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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What I did was looked around where I lived, but also searched firehouse.com for different departments. I didn't want to work for a slow department so that narrowed things down for me. I found my current dept cause they posted a huge 3 alarm fire picture on firehouse. I looked them up and found they were hiring.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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Thanks
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #6
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If you really want to get hired quickly, take the classes and get your EMT-P cert. If not, just apply to as many as you can. It's just a toss up with departments whether they are currently hiring, their application process, and how much competition you have.

Matt
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rardigo View Post
Thanks
No problem. I looked at all the big names like fdny, Chicago, LA city,
San Fran, Etc. found out a little about the dept from their websites. And then applied if they were hiring. The fire service is so competitive that I jumped on the first offer I got even though at the time I was still in the application process for 6 other departments. Montgomery County Md just outside of Washington DC is where I ended up. It's a big department with over 1200 career personnel. And we're always hiring.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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Is there an age limit with fire depts?
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rardigo View Post
Is there an age limit with fire depts?
For some yes. I still don't know how they get away with it because of equal opportunity. I think dc and fdny do. We however do not. We had a guy in one of our last recruit classes that was 54 years old.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerLovesFire View Post
For some yes. I still don't know how they get away with it because of equal opportunity. I think dc and fdny do. We however do not. We had a guy in one of our last recruit classes that was 54 years old.
Cool thanks
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:08 PM   #11
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I started on craigslist and I saw a list of all the departments testing. Then looking somewhere else that I can't remember. For all the ones I found you either had to be at least 18 and do their own recruit academy, and get a job within a year and a half. Or you had to be 21 with paramedic certs. All I have right now is fire 1. Next step is wildland then EMT basic, which I know I will have a hard time with. I'm not 21 yet so I can't apply anywhere. I can to seattle but then they require you to do their academy.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forster46 View Post
I started on craigslist and I saw a list of all the departments testing. Then looking somewhere else that I can't remember. For all the ones I found you either had to be at least 18 and do their own recruit academy, and get a job within a year and a half. Or you had to be 21 with paramedic certs. All I have right now is fire 1. Next step is wildland then EMT basic, which I know I will have a hard time with. I'm not 21 yet so I can't apply anywhere. I can to seattle but then they require you to do their academy.
Unfortunately with the fire service unless you get hired as a Chief, you are going to have to go through some sort of recruit training. Also if you get hired on by one city and then a few years later get a fire dept job with another city, your certs may transfer but you will have to start over and probably go through another academy. I had all the minimum qualifications that were required to be a firefighter, and when I got hired, I had to go through the entire recruit school both fire and ems, about 16 weeks total. I basically took the same classes over again. Its kinda crazy, but that is how the fire service is. 18 is usually the min age, but my dept for example will let you apply as long as you will be 18 at the start of recruit school, so a 17 1/2 year old could apply.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerLovesFire View Post
Unfortunately with the fire service unless you get hired as a Chief, you are going to have to go through some sort of recruit training. Also if you get hired on by one city and then a few years later get a fire dept job with another city, your certs may transfer but you will have to start over and probably go through another academy. I had all the minimum qualifications that were required to be a firefighter, and when I got hired, I had to go through the entire recruit school both fire and ems, about 16 weeks total. I basically took the same classes over again. Its kinda crazy, but that is how the fire service is. 18 is usually the min age, but my dept for example will let you apply as long as you will be 18 at the start of recruit school, so a 17 1/2 year old could apply.
This is what I am afraid of.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:08 PM   #14
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its going to be tough, and you need to do things to set yourself apart from the abundance of competition. there are a shitload of people out there with the same qualifications, and NOT alot of full-time FF jobs. lets face it, you get to sleep at work and only work 2 days per week with as close to unlimited overtime as you can get...

that being said, alot of FD's are looking for medic certs because they are taking over municipal ambulance services as it is a money maker for the city/town, and will pay for some of the FD's budget. this looks good to the town/city as it be feel like the town/city is not burdened with the WHOLE FD budget.

if i were you, i would get your EMT basic, then Intermediate, then go to medic school. once you have your paramedic, get your FF2. when you are FF2/paramedic, you can pretty much write your own ticket for a fire dept. get a few years of experience as a FF, then go work on an emergency medical helicopter as a flight medic, and make $$$$$$$.

just my $0.02....
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 650H1 View Post
its going to be tough, and you need to do things to set yourself apart from the abundance of competition. there are a shitload of people out there with the same qualifications, and NOT alot of full-time FF jobs. lets face it, you get to sleep at work and only work 2 days per week with as close to unlimited overtime as you can get...

that being said, alot of FD's are looking for medic certs because they are taking over municipal ambulance services as it is a money maker for the city/town, and will pay for some of the FD's budget. this looks good to the town/city as it be feel like the town/city is not burdened with the WHOLE FD budget.

if i were you, i would get your EMT basic, then Intermediate, then go to medic school. once you have your paramedic, get your FF2. when you are FF2/paramedic, you can pretty much write your own ticket for a fire dept. get a few years of experience as a FF, then go work on an emergency medical helicopter as a flight medic, and make $$$$$$$.

just my $0.02....
That would be badass. I honestly just don't think I am as good with the medical stuff as I am with the fire stuff. I am gonna be surprised if I do well through basic EMT let alone any further haha. My buddy just finished paramedic school and said it was crazy hard, and expensive. I would love that job though.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forster46 View Post
That would be badass. I honestly just don't think I am as good with the medical stuff as I am with the fire stuff. I am gonna be surprised if I do well through basic EMT let alone any further haha. My buddy just finished paramedic school and said it was crazy hard, and expensive. I would love that job though.
well, youll need at the very LEAST your intermediate... and if youre going that far, might as well get your medic... more $$ for departments with education incentives and will make yourself more marketable.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 650H1 View Post
its going to be tough, and you need to do things to set yourself apart from the abundance of competition. there are a shitload of people out there with the same qualifications, and NOT alot of full-time FF jobs. lets face it, you get to sleep at work and only work 2 days per week with as close to unlimited overtime as you can get...

that being said, alot of FD's are looking for medic certs because they are taking over municipal ambulance services as it is a money maker for the city/town, and will pay for some of the FD's budget. this looks good to the town/city as it be feel like the town/city is not burdened with the WHOLE FD budget.

if i were you, i would get your EMT basic, then Intermediate, then go to medic school. once you have your paramedic, get your FF2. when you are FF2/paramedic, you can pretty much write your own ticket for a fire dept. get a few years of experience as a FF, then go work on an emergency medical helicopter as a flight medic, and make $$$$$$$.

just my $0.02....
X2. This is spot on.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:47 AM   #18
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Well I just found out my moms best friends husband is a chief in everett, wa so I am gonna talk to him about some of this stuff. If I could pick any city in the area to work in it would be there, but that would probably never work out haha
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:37 PM   #19
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Well I just found out my moms best friends husband is a chief in everett, wa so I am gonna talk to him about some of this stuff. If I could pick any city in the area to work in it would be there, but that would probably never work out haha
He Would def be a good source of information. As he would know exactly how his department works. Funny how I never noticed your location before, but the mention of Everett reminded me. My grandfather has lived up in stanwood wa for many years now. My family and I visit there every so often. Such a nice area.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:25 PM   #20
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Yeah I'm only about 15 mins north of there. I drive through everytime I go down south to redmond.
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