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Trying to land a FF job.

Discussion in 'Jobs & Careers' started by southerntaco889, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Jul 8, 2010 at 3:47 PM
    #1
    southerntaco889

    southerntaco889 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, im currently finishing up all the paperwork for my FF1 cert and already have my BVFF cert. My dream job obviously is structural firefighting I just don't really know how to put myself out there. I want to get on the Augusta, GA dept. They advertise the positions online when they become available but i want to make sure i "look good' when i apply. Any of my FF buds out there got any advice? Also, how much can i be looking to make on a dept? Augusta starts out at 28k plus benefits and everything else. I want to make a living out of it and do it for the rest of my life. Just wondering if i can realistically hope to make a good enough living to support a family off of FF.
     
  2. Jul 8, 2010 at 4:09 PM
    #2
    Gefallenprinz

    Gefallenprinz Member

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    Your most likely going to need FF 2 as well. Get in touch with someone at the dept. your interested in and see if you can do a ride along, that's a good way for people to put a face to an application. As for pay, all depts. are different any base pay you get will most likely be boosted by a substantial amount of overtime; so supporting a family is doable...being able to see them as often as you want..... that's another story. Another thing DO NOT lose faith if don't get a call back your first time applying, there are usually hundreds of applicants for a few slots. Just keep applying or look into FF reserve programs.
     
  3. Jul 8, 2010 at 4:18 PM
    #3
    Caduceus

    Caduceus Well-Known Member

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    Geez... good luck. In SoCal I knew literally hundreds of guys applying for 2 or 3 spots.

    - military? It helps...
    - volunteer FF helps, if you're in with the dept. you want to work with. It may take a few years. If Augusta doesn't have volunteers/reserves/explorers, try other local areas.
    - get some college. Real college, not FF or EMS related. An AA or BS/BA goes a really long way and you stand out better.
    - Start working EMS; paramedics are a LOT more desirable right now; you may be stuck working EMS for a while, but it's not forever, plus... you're IN.
    - Get your certs lined up while you can. FF1, FF2, USAR, NIMS, ACLS, PALS, whatever. (even if not a medic, every little piece of paper helps).
    - Don't just wait for Augusta. you need to get your ass working. Apply to every department you can. Ask around, network, get your name and face out there. If you get hired somewhere that's not Augusta, so what??? Get experience, more training, if you don't like it, apply for a lateral position.

    Good luck. It can be tough getting on board.
     
  4. Jul 8, 2010 at 4:43 PM
    #4
    trdtaco10

    trdtaco10 Well-Known Member

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    He hit it pretty much spot on. Education, experience, and medical training. I don't know about Augusta, but a lot of big departments will put you through a rookie school and you will get all of the certs you need too. Its a fun and great profession. Also, as you get promoted along comes more and more money. I know here in Charlotte, once you get up about engineer and captain pay grades, your making a pretty penny but they are also the best paying dept in NC. Its hard to get on some depts. Charlotte has thousands of applicants every year and only hire like maybe 40-60 people. I wish the best for you and good luck with your search. Please if you have any more questions ask.
     
  5. Jul 8, 2010 at 6:54 PM
    #5
    southerntaco889

    southerntaco889 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the help. There was a bunch of stuff yall mentioned I hadn't thought of. I was thinking about the EMS route but I have the same problem with it that I do with going to get more education. I went to tech school 2 years for welding and moved out so now I'm working full time at a fab shop and don't have time to fit in any more school. I'm regretting that decision now but I made it and i'm gonna live with it. My next door neighbor is a Lt. on Augusta's dept so he's kinda helped me a little with what I need to do. I just applied for a 911 dispatcher job in augusta and im in the 5 person group they narrowed down from over 200 that applied. I went for a interview last wednesday but i haven't been called yet. I'm crossing my fingers on that one cause i could probably do a easy lateral transfer onto the fire dept.
     
  6. Jul 8, 2010 at 7:14 PM
    #6
    Andrew H

    Andrew H What is this "search" you speak of?

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    If you're a Paramedic you can pretty much get on anywhere. A lot of places have thousands of people applying for a 20-30 person academy, sometimes more, sometimes less. Lets say 2000 people apply for an academy of 40 positions. Thats a 2% chance that you will even get selected. Then you have the attrition rate. Say 20 people drop out or get fired and you are one of the top 20 that graduated with a job. Congratulations, you made it and finished in the top 1% of people that applied for your job. These numbers are crazy (if I did my math correctly :confused: ) but this is how it is.

    I got on at 19. I went and got my for FF classes and EMT shit done before I applied to my FD. I was two weeks out from finishing up my certification academy through a community college when I was selected and hired on for a transitional academy through my FD.

    Get on wherever you can. Do not think you are too good to work at a certain department. Get your foot in the door and go where you want. Who knows, you may end up loving where you end up.

    Its more important who you work with, than who you work for. And the grass isn't always greener on the other side, the brown patches are just in different spots.

    Respect everybody, especially guys with time on and experience. I am close to five years on which is nothing. I have recently become the most junior guy on my crew that I have been with for over two years. I do not let them do any of the station duties and I go completely out of my way to make their job easier. Know your place. Keep your mouth shut and ears open at all times when you're the new guy.

    Everything thing you do from making coffee, rolling hose, folding towels, washing the rigs, you are signing your name next to it. Do a half-ass job and you will get a bad rep. Be proud of everything you do and make it obvious through your work ethic.

    I work about 11 days a month. I get full salary and benefits. I don't know what to do with all the time that I have off. I would have no problem supporting myself or a family. Its been my dream job ever since I could remember. You get paid to help people, fight fires, cut cars up, and to just be there for the community.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Jul 8, 2010 at 10:43 PM
    #7
    nvdeserted

    nvdeserted Well-Known Member

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    Be patient. I've got a few well qualified buddies that have been waiting on a city FF position for years.
     
  8. Jul 10, 2010 at 10:01 PM
    #8
    gainman

    gainman Semper Fi

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    get your emt. best way to get your foot in the door.
     
  9. Jul 14, 2010 at 4:28 PM
    #9
    Tacoma3232

    Tacoma3232 Well-Known Member

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    Good luck and be patient just got let go 3 days before my 1 year probationary was up. Just not a very happy person now. Anyways Congrats with FF1 cert.
     
  10. Jul 14, 2010 at 4:36 PM
    #10
    Caduceus

    Caduceus Well-Known Member

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    Everything he said here is so true. Especially the bold parts. I volly'd as an EMT for about 7 years, and it was tough to swallow those lessons. Admittedly, I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder, since I came in with a BS, got my Master's and eventually got into medical school while working when I could. But those medics could whiz-bang the pants off me, despite all my high-falutin' ejumacation. No matter how good/smart/quick you think you are, every one of the guy senior to you shouldn't have to earn your respect - you need to earn theirs. (of course, you may find over time that some don't deserve it, and then you can't do much anyway)
     
  11. Jul 16, 2010 at 9:24 AM
    #11
    Andrew H

    Andrew H What is this "search" you speak of?

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    Sh*t man I think I did a pretty dang good job keeping my mouth shut. Which was really hard when they were messing around busting my balls cause I am witty as f*ck and could have burned em good, plenty of times!

    You know you're in good with a crew after your first year and the ball busting goes on all day, every day.
     
  12. Jul 17, 2010 at 3:08 PM
    #12
    Caduceus

    Caduceus Well-Known Member

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    Amen. A daily dose of testosterone... :)
     
  13. Aug 13, 2010 at 8:49 PM
    #13
    squad314

    squad314 Thinks he's Steve McQueen

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    There has been some great advice given here and I don't have a lot to add other than don't give up. I'm in my 22nd year and have loved every minute of it. I'm currently writing my Lt's papers and look forward to the next stage in my career. When you get on remember what Andrew H has said and keep in mind......The job will be very good to you, be good back to it.

    Best of luck.
     
  14. Sep 26, 2010 at 5:38 PM
    #14
    TXFF41587

    TXFF41587 Well-Known Member

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    Best of luck man. They have pretty much hit it all.
     
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