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any firefighters outside of California on here

Discussion in 'Firefighters' started by ezjumper8, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. Apr 30, 2017 at 8:40 AM
    #1
    ezjumper8

    ezjumper8 [OP] Ethan

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    camp pendleton, ca
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    Im out of the Marine Corps, and ive been looking into different careers and have been thinking about being a firefighter. The only thing is that i want to leave California, but what ive read is that the pay goes down pretty fast and would have to have 2 jobs to support a family, is that true?
     
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  2. Apr 30, 2017 at 8:51 AM
    #2
    Farmer_Ted

    Farmer_Ted I WANT A TACO!

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    I'm also looking to become a firefighter. You have to take the cost of living into account too. For example:

    I currently live in Renton, Washington which is just south of Seattle. I can see downtown Seattle from where I live. Renton is looking to hire over a dozen firefighters for a new station they're building. Starting pay is about $61k. School systems are good, city is nice, safe area. But a house costs $350-400k for a basic house.

    Versus Kansas City (Where I wa born and raised) the highest paying fire department there starts you off around $43k, but houses are easily found for $150k for a great conditiom good school and neighborhood area. Kansas City is much cheaper to live in too. Lower taxes, cost of living, nice midwestern city with a lot to do. And easily be anywhere in the country within 5 -6 hours on a flight. Nice and centralized

    So, just because KC doesn't pay as well. Your money goes much further. And from what I've heard, it seems like a lotnof firefighters have something on the side to get a little extra money.

    Both places work the 24 on/off for four days & then 4 days off.
     
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  3. May 1, 2017 at 9:25 PM
    #3
    ezjumper8

    ezjumper8 [OP] Ethan

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    yeah, its definitely a give and take deal it seams like. Im jst trying to find what works for me, i was a electrician for 2 years and now im a student tryng to find what kind of career i want to do.
     
  4. Jul 24, 2017 at 8:32 AM
    #4
    Boris20

    Boris20 Well-Known Member

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    7 years full time in Oklahoma before I quit and went into a better paying career about 3 years ago.

    We did a 48 on 96 off shift.

    Any questions feel free to ask.
     
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  5. Sep 9, 2017 at 4:41 PM
    #5
    Shady Rascal

    Shady Rascal Well-Known Member

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    North Texas here. My department starts firefighters at 63k per year. It goes to 71k after they make their one year rookie period.

    A decent modern 3-2-2 house is 125-150k.

    No state tax.

    Unless you have expensive tastes, there isn't any necessity to work side jobs.
     
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  6. Jan 15, 2018 at 6:04 PM
    #6
    yote

    yote Washington State University

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    I just got out (in Oct 2017) from Pendleton too brother. I'm up in WA State, I have a buddy who works for Spokane Valley FD so I looked into it EXTENSIVELY.

    It depends on the state--- WA State, IIRC pays on the higher end of all the states in the US- however like others have mentioned your dollar may go farther in states (like Kansas) even though you're getting paid 2/3 of what you would make elsewhere.

    Its a sweet gig to get into, I know departments around here are hiring a good amount of applicants compared to previous times. Usually +/- $60k starting and usually a $6-7k increase per year after that plus minimum qualification is an EMT for some departments. In states with a good amount of National Forest (like WA, OR, ID, etc.) there's TONS of overtime opportunity to make 6 figures. Not to mention specialties, or niches to get into once your in to give you a pay increase.

    Long story short, pay is decent and just gets better each year, benefits are awesome.. some guys get second jobs because depending on how your dept. does it, you may work 24hrs on, 48hrs off... and every 5th shift you have 5 days off. That's a lot of time to pick up a trade or second job bringing in an extra $30-50k on top of your primary career


    Obviously I don't know everything but this is what I've gathered from knowing guys in, doing my own research, and getting involved with some of the testing/application processes
     
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  7. May 23, 2018 at 6:15 PM
    #7
    ink junky

    ink junky I love tacos too!!!

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    I'm

    What's your status, Ethan? If I may ask. :)

    I'm also trying to get into the field of Fire Fighter for San Antonio, TX.
    This will be my 4th year trying.
    The written entrance exam is next Tuesday (after Memorial Day) so I'll be flying to Texas to take it.

    It's not an easy and short process, at least in San Antonio. Roughly 2,000-4,000 people apply each year and 50-100 people make the cut.
     
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  8. May 23, 2018 at 6:26 PM
    #8
    ink junky

    ink junky I love tacos too!!!

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    To be honest, I personally haven't. Though I don't know who you're asking. :p :p :p Either way I'll definitely start looking into it! :)

    To be even more honest, San Antonio or Austin, TX is probably the only place at this point in time that I would love to become a Fire Fighter for.
    Sounds cheesy but my heart and soul long to be back in SA, TX or even in the general area!

    My wife and I have moved a lot (both before meeting each other and twice since) and we want to make our next cross-country move our last one. :)
     
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  9. May 24, 2018 at 4:37 PM
    #9
    ink junky

    ink junky I love tacos too!!!

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    I like to listen! :p
     
  10. Aug 28, 2018 at 10:46 PM
    #10
    HOOPSboy

    HOOPSboy Well-Known Member

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    I’ve worked for Houston since 2010. 4th largest FD in the US right behind Chicago. 4th largest city in the US. We BURN here....to the tune of 2-3 structure fires a day at a minimum. We cover 720 sq miles, so plenty of opportunity. Any big city does really, so I’m not trying to show off, but just stating fact. You’ll get experience here in both fire and EMS and some rescues. Austin is cool, but their schedule sucks in my opinion and the cost of living is high. Same goes for San Antonio, except cost of living is not high.

    Plenty of opportunity to promote if you apply yourself and study. Also plenty of divisions besides just fire supression and EMS.
    Great schedule with a nice chunk of days off at a time.
    We are campaigning right now for a significant pay raise to the citizens/voters for the November election and we are optomistic. Our pay isn’t much right now but we still have a good retirement. Finding work on the side is easy with your days off if you choose to do so. Having a 2nd job is not necessary if you budget well and do not live extravagantly.
    Some overtime opportunities, especially summer, hunting season, rodeo season and holidays.

    Last but not least, it is MUCH easier to get hired my a big dept in Texas than states like CA, FL, AZ, WA, etc and I speak from first hand experience. We have plenty of guys that move here from CA for example because they are tired of testing and waiting and they want to work for a big dept that burns. Houston is probably the easiest to get hired on in Texas honestly (concerning big depts).

    Happy to answer any questions!
     
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  11. Sep 9, 2018 at 10:12 AM
    #11
    ink junky

    ink junky I love tacos too!!!

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    Thank you for your input!

    I'm actually going through the hiring process right now for San Antonio Fire Department! I passed the written, the fitness test and the ergo so far!

    Next up is my background check! :D

    To be honest, I love the city of San Antonio and my wife and I are praying that it all goes through so we can move back from Cali to SA!
     
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  12. Oct 23, 2018 at 9:36 PM
    #12
    mipawlus

    mipawlus #332 Veteran Overland, #159 TTC, #69 in your heart

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    I'm gonna follow this just because. Looking at graduating in may and testing for mesquite tx fd.

    Too old for San Antonio. Scored 9th on their exam this year but wanted to graduate college first.
     
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  13. Oct 23, 2018 at 10:22 PM
    #13
    anthony250f

    anthony250f Well-Known Member

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    For states like Texas do you have to have any certifications before applying? My heart is in law enforcement, but being a firefighter is a close second.
     
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  14. Oct 23, 2018 at 10:26 PM
    #14
    mipawlus

    mipawlus #332 Veteran Overland, #159 TTC, #69 in your heart

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    Im in the search myself, but from my research it depends on where you apply. Some cities put you through theirs with no previous experience.

    For instance San Antonio and Dallas put you through their academies, but towns like college station require you have to have a cert already.
     
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  15. Oct 23, 2018 at 10:29 PM
    #15
    mipawlus

    mipawlus #332 Veteran Overland, #159 TTC, #69 in your heart

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    Make sure you get your VA stuff done, GI Bill pays during the fire academy.

    Plus most will give some kind of credit/benefit for military service.
     
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  16. Oct 23, 2018 at 10:36 PM
    #16
    mipawlus

    mipawlus #332 Veteran Overland, #159 TTC, #69 in your heart

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    What dept? I'm looking at mesquite and dfw after graduation this May.
     
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  17. Nov 16, 2018 at 11:20 PM
    #17
    EireBleuTacoma

    EireBleuTacoma Well-Known Member

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    Depends on department, location and specialties. Austin is 2nd highest paid in Texas behind Plano.
     
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  18. Nov 16, 2018 at 11:28 PM
    #18
    EireBleuTacoma

    EireBleuTacoma Well-Known Member

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    Tx requires an EMS cert at at least a Basic level, and completion of Firefighter I&II, Hazmat Awareness and Hazmat Ops.
     
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  19. Nov 17, 2018 at 10:24 AM
    #19
    mipawlus

    mipawlus #332 Veteran Overland, #159 TTC, #69 in your heart

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    Isnt that something that is dept dependent?

    I know some depts give extra pay for certs, degrees, languages, etc
     
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  20. Nov 17, 2018 at 5:41 PM
    #20
    Biscuits

    Biscuits Thorny Crown of Entropy

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    Swiggity swangin' biggity bangin'
    Really, even after the passing of Houston's Prop 8 to put FD pay on par with PD?

    For what? I'm not being a smartass, I genuinely don't know.
     
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