1. #1
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    Default Texas Fire School

    It seems that in order to have a legitament shot at getting hired at a FD in the metroplex you have to be already fire certified. I am currently a Nationally registered EMT-I working for a county EMS agency. I have about 11 months as a paid FF in Georgia (did not get my fire cert because we relocated to Texas before I was sent to the Fire Academy)and about 3 years as an EMT-I. In GA you can work as a paid FF as long as you are in the process of getting your cert before your 1 year anniversary.

    I currently work a 24/48 schedule so that eliminates alot of fire schools that are set up on a daily basis. So my question is does anyone know of an online fire school that does not require me to take 2 weeks off of work to go away and do the skills portion. Does anyone know of any departments that will hire a 39 year old EMT-I and put them through fire school? I plan on getting my medic as soon as I am finished with fire school.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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    trainingdivision.com

    my brother and several friends utilized it to earn their certs.

    It's all what you make of it, if you want to barely pass then that's fine, if you want to really learn, then take some initiative and learn.

    trevolp
    Fort Worth Fire Department

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    My best advice is go to Collin College Fire Academy or DeSoto Fire Academy. You can find their websites on google. I'm currently enrolled at Desoto but I'd choose collin college over it any day.

    I do not recommend using any form of online training. You will not be trained no where even close to what guys are getting in real academies. In online academy you will only put on an air pack once, in a real academy, you'll put it on, you'll put it on, you'll put it on, and you'll put it on again again and again. If you go to an online academy, and the department sees that (Which they will), they are going to hammer you hard on your interview(if you make it that far) because they know you took the easy way out.

    Just my 2 cents.

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    not to discredit the previous poster.....but I feel he is not correct on many subjects. I know numerous people who have done the online academy and they didn't have problems getting on with fire department. I even work with a few here at fort worth....several were class mates with me in fort worth's academy and they were a wealth of knowledge.

    SCBA's..........my brother went through an online academy and during the boot camp portion he definately put on an SCBA more than once. yes you will be asked about it during interviews but if you are confident in your skills then you will not have a problem

    Another note is that tarrant county college offers a night academy and is a training center that is known for being cutting edge. Their burn labs are nice but all LPG so you don't get any heat or smoke, but the hay fires at other academies are pretty miserable also. There is no way to acurately recreate the smoke and heat you will experience in a real house fire when all the academies use propane or hay.

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    Default A question of hours

    After meeting several people with have gone through an online fire academy, a question keeps bugging me that the "onliners" could not answer for me. In Texas, for basic structure fire protection certification with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, individuals must complete a 468-hour curriculum.

    These online fire academies only require you to go to a two week "boot camp." Anyone who has gone through a traditional fire academy in Texas might remember all the skills that were taught and the stack of T.C.F.P. skill sheets that had to be filled out and be successfully completed in order for certification. I know the onliners do all of the book work and take their exams online(with or without having their books next to the computer as quick answer key!) My question is besides the two week "boot camp" to obatin some of your curriculm hours, do these online academies rely on good faith that the onliners complete the rest of the 468-hour curriculum and T.C.F.P. skill sheets from home?

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    I asked my brother about this and he provided the answer.

    The online classroom is set up similar to the online defensive driver's programs. The web pages with readings and videos have a timer on them and you are not allowed to advance to the next page until the timer expires. This system ensures that the proper amount of time is spent on certain subjects as mandated by TCFP.

    I'm also sure that TCFP was particular about the administration of the classes as TCFP has a reputation of pickyness when it comes to accredited training facilities.

    Not to mention the days at the boot camp are long as they start early in the morning and end late at night, I was informed of the shortest day being 8.5 hours and the longest being 12. They also perform many bunker gear drills. One for instance was some one will sneak into the room and quickly turn the lights off then back on again, they class must rush to the truck room and bunk out and be breathing air. This is stuff you do in a normal academy, and once you get to a station it is real life.

    I agree, probably not the best way of learning but I don't feel it is the worst. I know several of the instructors at trainingdivision.com and they are good instructors. Many of them are fort worth fire fighters and have an outstanding reputation.

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    Thanks Trevolp. It just that some of the guys that I have met who have gome through trainingdivision.com acted as though they were in complete shock after I told them that I had attended T.C.C.'s fire academy. They were like " Dude! Why in the heck would you want to go to a fire academy thats 3 months long, Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.?" They went on to say " Your wating your time! You should have gone online, it's the EXACT same thing as T.C.C.'s." I was polite in listening to their responses, but I drew the line when they said an online academy is the "EXACT" same as a traditional fire academy! My reply to them was "If I'm going into a dangerous field of work, I want as many hours of hands on training as I can get. Two weeks is no where near enough time to teach you the basic skills to become a firefighter." My response kind of ****ed them off, but sometimes the truth hurts!
    Last edited by pewter98; 12-22-2008 at 12:23 PM.

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    Hey guys dont want to steal any thunder on this post but I have been looking for a lot of answers for FWFD.

    When I called the recruiter he made it seem like they would like to train new guys at the fire academy set up in fort worth. This might be different for dallas. When I asked about what certifications they would like to see and he said that none were needed to get into the academy. I obviously said well I know it doesnt hurt but what are they really looking for. He replied to pass a written test and a physical test.

    Can anyone give any insight further on this. Does anyone know someone that just went through it. I have no family or friends in FWFD so I have to rely on you guys. Thanks

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    I've done both a hands on academy and an online academy (training division) and they are apples and oranges. I'll say as far as information retention the online is by far better. In a traditional academy there's so much info bombarding you in a short time period that it kind of all gets washed together. Truthfully though the traditional is better as far as "mastering" firefighting simply because you have more time with the equipment. But like EMS a lot of the job is really learned hands on. Overall though I would say for me the online served me better I feel I got more out of it because of were I am in life at this time. If you're able to not work and go traditional by all means do but for those who don't have that luxury I think online works. I personally only no training division so I wont vouch for other online academies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhit1010 View Post
    Hey guys dont want to steal any thunder on this post but I have been looking for a lot of answers for FWFD.

    When I called the recruiter he made it seem like they would like to train new guys at the fire academy set up in fort worth. This might be different for dallas. When I asked about what certifications they would like to see and he said that none were needed to get into the academy. I obviously said well I know it doesnt hurt but what are they really looking for. He replied to pass a written test and a physical test.

    Can anyone give any insight further on this. Does anyone know someone that just went through it. I have no family or friends in FWFD so I have to rely on you guys. Thanks

    Did the recruiter you talk to happen to say when the next written test is going to take place? I ask because when I called and asked that question several months ago, whoever the office connected me to said they could not comment I that right now. Just wondering if anything has changed.

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    My fire academy in Texas was almost 9 months long. It was Tuesday and Thursday nights at 5:30 till 10 or 10:30 if I can remember correctly. And on Saturdays it was all day from like 9am to 5-7pm depending on what we were doing. From what I remember we exceeded the requirements by a lot. We PTed every day practically with full gear. We had an entire 3 weeks of live burns. ( Oak Hill Fire Academy) They also recently built their own burn facility so we do not have to use neighboring departments.

    It was a great academy for those that were maintaining a full time job or career. We were also required to do 3 or more 24 hour ride outs which is something that you can't get in an online course.

    Another academy near Austin is the Taylor Academy run through ACC ( Austin Community College). I have heard great things about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhit1010 View Post
    Hey guys dont want to steal any thunder on this post but I have been looking for a lot of answers for FWFD.

    When I called the recruiter he made it seem like they would like to train new guys at the fire academy set up in fort worth. This might be different for dallas. When I asked about what certifications they would like to see and he said that none were needed to get into the academy. I obviously said well I know it doesnt hurt but what are they really looking for. He replied to pass a written test and a physical test.

    Can anyone give any insight further on this. Does anyone know someone that just went through it. I have no family or friends in FWFD so I have to rely on you guys. Thanks
    I finished fort worth's academy 14 months ago. The recruiter was right nothing needed, and they don't give a crap what else you have. You are just going to **** them off with the "what are you really looking for, hint hint wink wink bull." no matter if you were a firefighter for 10 years before getting on with FW or never been a firefighter at all, you still have to go through their 6 1/2 months of training before you put your gear on an engine or truck.

    i'd explain further but you don't have private message turned on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schmidthouse7 View Post
    Truthfully though the traditional is better as far as "mastering" firefighting simply because you have more time with the equipment.
    dang you must be a gift to firefighting if you mastered firefighting in the few months you were in academy and all those practice, live burns in the safe state of the art, hay fire burn house.

    just busting your chops, please don't get offended. you made the statement and left it wide open, i just capitalized on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trevolp View Post
    I finished fort worth's academy 14 months ago. The recruiter was right nothing needed, and they don't give a crap what else you have. You are just going to **** them off with the "what are you really looking for, hint hint wink wink bull." no matter if you were a firefighter for 10 years before getting on with FW or never been a firefighter at all, you still have to go through their 6 1/2 months of training before you put your gear on an engine or truck.

    i'd explain further but you don't have private message turned on.
    Yea I am new to this site and I think I have to have a number of post before it will let me get PM. If you wouldnt mind emailing at mike@whitpm.com I would appreciate it. The information you have already gave me is great. My friends dad is an arson investigator in austin and is getting me set up for some ride alongs. if anyone is planning on trying to get on to the next set of interviews my guess is August to October from what I have heard. If anyone is wanting to maybe train or get together to share info that would be great. I am going at this alone so the more help the better. once again feel free to email me mike@whitpm.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhit1010 View Post
    My friends dad is an arson investigator in austin and is getting me set up for some ride alongs. If anyone is planning on trying to get on to the next set of interviews my guess is August to October from what I have heard. If anyone is wanting to maybe train or get together to share info that would be great. I am going at this alone so the more help the better. once again feel free to email me mike@whitpm.com
    When you say your guess for the next set of interviews is August to October, are you talking about for Austin or Fort Worth? I got kind of confused because you mentioned your friend's dad thats an arson investigator in Austin.

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    Hello all! I too am looking for info on FWFD. I've been told by many that I need to get my EMT-B before even considering applying. I'm also wondering about the surrounding suburbs, mostly the mid cities area. I'm looking into going to T.C.C. this fall to start EMT-B, just trying to figure out if I should or shouldn't...

    Larry

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    Default fire academy

    Actually if your wanting to obtain an ifsac or state commission certification. youll have to do the skills sessions. those are mandatory per nfpa 1001. There are several online schools out there. i researched this very well. Trainingdivision.com is a good one but u gotta like PT and military style training. I personally have attended fireacademyonline.com it does have two weeks of skills, but like i said before these are mandated by nfpa. Don't know about other schools but this isn't a put ur pack on once school. its 12 consecutive 12 hour days and oh yea ur in a pack and full gear 90% of the time. a couple hours classroom in the am then off to the hands on stuff. If your serious about bein a fireman this is the best way to do it without cutting corners. fireacademyonline is fully credentialed by tcfp,nfpa, and ifsac.

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    Larry,

    If you are wanting to get on with Fort Worth, then you do not need prior certifications either as emt or FF. However, I do suggest that if you are serious about firefighting as a career path, then start your emt- basic, go to fire school and get certified, then if you feel like it or have the desire to be a medic, try that. I am a big proponent of actively testing and working on your interview skills while gaining your certifications. The testing and interview process is tough so the better prepared you are the better you will do. I was in my interview for 2 hours and 15 minutes.

    Most of the other cities around in the west-o-plex will hire you as an emt basic but some of them will require you to earn your red patch eventually. As you get closer to the dallas side of things you find a lot more departments that give strong preference to people who are already paramedics.

    As for Fort Worth, taking the emt class and then working on your fire cert will show the initiative and drive of wanting to pursue this as your chosen career path, but you will still have to go through our 7 month training program regardless of your history in the fire service. I feel that Fort Worth has high standards and they expect you to be the best (even if you get hired and you are a slug, they will still can your *** fast........a few slugs make it through once in a while and we get stuck with them for 30 years)

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    Quote Originally Posted by trevolp View Post
    Larry,

    If you are wanting to get on with Fort Worth, then you do not need prior certifications either as emt or FF. However, I do suggest that if you are serious about firefighting as a career path, then start your emt- basic, go to fire school and get certified, then if you feel like it or have the desire to be a medic, try that. I am a big proponent of actively testing and working on your interview skills while gaining your certifications. The testing and interview process is tough so the better prepared you are the better you will do. I was in my interview for 2 hours and 15 minutes.

    Most of the other cities around in the west-o-plex will hire you as an emt basic but some of them will require you to earn your red patch eventually. As you get closer to the dallas side of things you find a lot more departments that give strong preference to people who are already paramedics.

    As for Fort Worth, taking the emt class and then working on your fire cert will show the initiative and drive of wanting to pursue this as your chosen career path, but you will still have to go through our 7 month training program regardless of your history in the fire service. I feel that Fort Worth has high standards and they expect you to be the best (even if you get hired and you are a slug, they will still can your *** fast........a few slugs make it through once in a while and we get stuck with them for 30 years)
    Thank you very much! That is the info I was looking for. I just started the last of my immunizations today and am going to register at TCC next month to get caught up, and hopefully make the fall class. Again thank you very much!

    Larry

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