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    Default AF recruiter said I have to be FF certified?

    AF recruiter told me today that I have to have all the "bells and whistles". She elaborated that I have to be FF certified in order to come onto the AF as a firefighter.

    She said that I could come on as "something else" but would not be guaranteed a firefighter position.

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    Maybe true.
    I joined the Air Force (hoping) to be a Firefighter and GOT it.
    But i would have joined anyways,
    No matter what job they gave me.
    The veteran status is very important in becoming a profesional firefighter even more so than being one in the military.
    Just join up and do your time.
    You WONT regret it.
    Once your a veteran, you will have a much easier time becoming a profesional f.f. once you get out if thats what you want to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LP2004 View Post
    AF recruiter told me today that I have to have all the "bells and whistles". She elaborated that I have to be FF certified in order to come onto the AF as a firefighter.

    She said that I could come on as "something else" but would not be guaranteed a firefighter position.
    you don't have to be anything certified to come into the air force, regardless of the job you are trying to get (besides HS diploma or GED of course). that's the beauty of it, the air force pays for all of your training for any job that you do for it. the air force will send you to the dod academy upon completion of basic training. your air force recruiter might want to go back to air force recruiter school and get certified to become an air force recruiter again.

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    It's most likely a recruiting tactic to pressure you to choose a job that they need filled, rather than the job you actually want.
    My husband was an Army recruiter when I first met him, and it's pretty common that they try to do that. He actually got kicked out of MEPPS because he told one of the guys he was a recruiter for that if they didn't like any jobs on the "first screen" on the computer, they had every right to refuse what was offered and just walk out. Well, the recruit did that and sure enough they "pulled some strings" and got him a job he wanted.

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    SHe might mean you need a qualifying ASVAB score. But I can not think of an enlisted job in the military, except for the band, where you need to have the skills or certifications before enlisting.
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    My first tip to you, is to not get any... ANY information from your recruiter.

    Tell the recruiter that you will go to another town or recruiting station to get the job that you want. ( Or the the army or navy even next door.) Don't be mean about it though just be upfront.

    They WILL lie to you.

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    Chances are that the recruiter is trying to show what other jobs you can qualify for and there are jobs that are harder to fill that someone coming in "job locked" could get. There are more technical and more advanced jobs in the military that need a high ASVAB score and background to qualify for and also are harder to fill. Someone wanting to be an AF FF could qualify for those more advanced jobs, but if only wanting FF, it makes filling those jobs harder.

    Also, from reading on military sites, firefighting is a high demanded job and will tend to fill up faster than other jobs and there just may not be openings for the job. Best thing to do when going into the military is to keep an open mind and to do one's homework.

    As already mentioned, the veteran's points help out to get a job, not so much the experience. An AF firefighter has as much of a chance at a FF career as a grunt in the Marines, an Electrician in the Navy and so forth. One benefit of AF FF is you can get your IFSAC certs through them.

    If this is the story you are getting, ask some more questions. However, it is difficult to get someone a job they are locked on and there just may not be openings for that job. Everything is about manning in the military and some jobs advance faster than others, some are saturated with applicants (like firefighting) to get the job. Keep an open mind, rather than demanding one job, take a look at other branches as well, all have their FF equivalent.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Chances are that the recruiter is trying to show what other jobs you can qualify for and there are jobs that are harder to fill that someone coming in "job locked" could get. There are more technical and more advanced jobs in the military that need a high ASVAB score and background to qualify for and also are harder to fill. Someone wanting to be an AF FF could qualify for those more advanced jobs, but if only wanting FF, it makes filling those jobs harder.

    Also, from reading on military sites, firefighting is a high demanded job and will tend to fill up faster than other jobs and there just may not be openings for the job. Best thing to do when going into the military is to keep an open mind and to do one's homework.

    As already mentioned, the veteran's points help out to get a job, not so much the experience. An AF firefighter has as much of a chance at a FF career as a grunt in the Marines, an Electrician in the Navy and so forth. One benefit of AF FF is you can get your IFSAC certs through them.

    If this is the story you are getting, ask some more questions. However, it is difficult to get someone a job they are locked on and there just may not be openings for that job. Everything is about manning in the military and some jobs advance faster than others, some are saturated with applicants (like firefighting) to get the job. Keep an open mind, rather than demanding one job, take a look at other branches as well, all have their FF equivalent.
    Excellent post, but I would disagree with the last line. The USAF is really the only branch that has FF's in any number on the AD side.
    Army FF's are overwhelmingly in Guard and Reserve units, very few AD.
    Navy FF's are actually in the rate of Damage Controlman (DC) with Firefighting being only a small portion of the Rate. Same in the USCG.
    The Marine Corps has no AD firefighters, all MC bases/stations are GS positions.

    The AF is the best bet, and really the only game in town as far as AD military FF.

    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfd1992 View Post
    Excellent post, but I would disagree with the last line. The USAF is really the only branch that has FF's in any number on the AD side.
    Army FF's are overwhelmingly in Guard and Reserve units, very few AD.
    Navy FF's are actually in the rate of Damage Controlman (DC) with Firefighting being only a small portion of the Rate. Same in the USCG.
    The Marine Corps has no AD firefighters, all MC bases/stations are GS positions.

    The AF is the best bet, and really the only game in town as far as AD military FF.

    Good luck.

    Navy firefighters are Damage Controlman, but they mostly maintain the equipment. Aboard ship everyone is a firefighter. Very rare to find a Navy rate as a shore duty firefighter, ridng structural calls. NAB Little Creek used to active duty types, but they've all been replaced by civil service types.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfd1992 View Post
    The Marine Corps has no AD firefighters, all MC bases/stations are GS positions.
    Not true! Many USMC Airfields are protected by AD personnel.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Not true! Many USMC Airfields are protected by AD personnel.

    I knew the USMC had an MOS for ARFF in the past but thought it had been phased out. I seem to recall it was strictly ARFF, no structural. Thanks for the correction.

    I still say that the AF is the best way to go for someone that wants to be an AD FF.
    Last edited by sfd1992; 12-03-2008 at 06:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfd1992 View Post
    I still say that the AF is the best way to go for someone that wants to be an AD FF.
    Absolutely!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfd1992 View Post
    Excellent post, but I would disagree with the last line. The USAF is really the only branch that has FF's in any number on the AD side.
    Army FF's are overwhelmingly in Guard and Reserve units, very few AD.
    Navy FF's are actually in the rate of Damage Controlman (DC) with Firefighting being only a small portion of the Rate. Same in the USCG.
    The Marine Corps has no AD firefighters, all MC bases/stations are GS positions.

    The AF is the best bet, and really the only game in town as far as AD military FF.

    Good luck.

    Actually I was DC in the Navy and it is still a firefighter equivalent. Yes, the AF offers IFSAC with training, but each branch offers expereince in firefighting. While the Navy claims every sailor is a firefighter, it is the responsibility of the Damage Controlman to train others in firefighting and most DC tend to be in a primary firefighting role for actual emergencies. One huge difference between Navy firefighting and Air Force, is that there is NO defensive tactic in the Navy. All firefighting is offensive because if you surround and drown, it is a looooong swim to the shallow end.

    Yes, the Navy is more system based regarding the field and also more training based. You conduct a fire drill daily at sea or each duty day in port. Yes, every member is considered a firefighter, but it is up to the Damage Controlmen to teach that. While I did not come out with my IFSAC certifications from the Navy, there really wasn't much more I didn't learn that Air Force guys did.

    As it is, on my current department, I am work with several former AF firefighters. One good friend was an instructor for the AF at the DOD fire school. There is NO difference between them and me to obtain the job we have. As it is, none of us walked out of the military and onto the department without outside education. It was because of veterans points that really helped to land the job. As it is, there are several other vets on the department who didn't have anything to do with firefighting as their primary job, but do the job nonetheless, so really when one looks at it, what gets you the job, the military experience or the veterans points?
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    My instructor at Goodfellow told me that the Navy will send guys through just to turn around and station them there as instructors. Anybody heard or experienced this?

    Just curious since the Navy/Firefighter thing came up.

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    A few points;
    The Marines do have active duty fire fighters at every air station in the Marine Corps. While ARFF is their primary mission, they are still trained structually and will assist the Federal Fire Fighters on base, and often station a Marine or two at the base firehouse.

    Next, the job skills that you learn in the military are not the big thing that you take with you into the civilian world, it is the disapline that you build.

    Last don't join the military just to learn any skill, for the college money, etc. The only reason to join the military is to serve your country, because today, even the personel clerk can be quickly put into harms way and in the middle of the battle. Semper Fi.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Absolutely!
    Nope. Join the Navy, we are all Firefighters!

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    In my experience at the Academy, the only Navy rate that went through the DoD Fire Academy is ABH. The only reason ABH's go to the academy is for the Airport Rescue Firefighter certification required for any shore duty crash and salvage crewman. DC-men do not attend the DoD Fire Academy (Unless it's been changed in the last 2 years...)

    And Yes, I've seen Navy ABH's go through the school and get pulled to instruct at the academy. (Though, they should have orders before they go to the school..) Happened to a guy I was stationed on an Aircraft Carrier with. I got out of the Navy, and almost 2 years later I ran into him when I went to the DoD Fire Academy for the Air Natl. Guard.

    -Damien

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    if it is an ASVAB issue, you can retake the test...

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    1st rule, never trust a recruiter
    2nd rule, never trust a recruiter
    3rd rule, never trust the knuckle head at MEPS that says “This is all we have”


    When I went from AD Marines to AD Army I got the run around, until I told the recruiter where he could go and what he could do with his thumb. The guy at MEPS I walked out on him twice because he told me “I had to be in the Infantry” because it was my MOS from the Marines. Guess what? He was wrong and was full of it. He tried to work me like he was a use car salesmen. Not saying all recruiters are like that.

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    I wouldn't at all recommend putting 100% of your trust in a recruiter, but not everything that is coming out of their mouth is bull either. Every month (or quarter, depending on the job), recruitment worldwide is given a fixed number of slots they can guarantee for each job. Some jobs have a lot of slots, others not so many. (Also, some jobs have much higher demand than others) There are another handful of slots that is given for "open general" enrollment, which is coming in with no guaranteed job code. Once these are filled, that's the end of the line until more slots are appropriated by that job's leadership.

    I have a few buddies that are recruiters, and they all say that of all the jobs in the air force, firefighting is one of the highest in demand. Thousands of people test for city departments every year, even if 10% of those guys go talk to a recruiter, those slots get filled fast. The other problem for you is the Air Force is making an effort to do away with Active duty firefighters altogether in favor of Dept of Defense civilians, so the number of slots coming up each time around is shrinking. So what your recruiter is probably telling you is he can't guarantee you a fire job. That said, there are probably plenty of fire slots open, they have just been appropriated for open general candidates. Of course this is a risk. Obviously having prior training in the fire service will GREATLY increase your chances of getting put into one of these spots when you talk to the job folks at basic training. The air force wants you to be happy in your job so you reenlist after your first term, and they can be confident that you won't fail out of tech school if you already have training in the subject you are learning. They aren't trying to ruthlessly screw you and make you miserable.

    If you did well enough on your ASVAB (75+) you're pretty safe going in open general. There are enough cool jobs in the AF that even if fire doesn't pan out, you can do other cool stuff, even things that will be looked on highly by fire departments on the outside. SERE school instructor will look good and they almost always need people (SERE school is where pilots go to learn how to survive off the land behind enemy lines while waiting for rescue. These guys are pretty bad to the bone) Air Force medical jobs are some of the best in the military as well, and can lead you to getting your paramedic and riding the ambulance (which you probably won't get as an active duty AF Firefighter. It's possible if you go to the right base, but not likely). Anything combat related will look good to a fire department (C-130 gunner, Emergency Ordinance Disposal), as will anything with high stress/responsibility such as Air traffic control, refueling boom operator, aircraft maintenance etc. The 5 vet preference points are going to be the biggest help in getting you on a civilian FD. Most AF firefighters (myself included) get out of the AF thinking a city FD will jump at the chance to get them on their department, then spend the next few years facing reality that they are applying for an entry level firefighter position and the department doesn't give a rats butt what you did. In fact often times, particularly in larger cities, they prefer someone with little or no experience so they can mold you in their way. They also know that your AF experience got you some decent training, but not much real emergency experience. You're still on the same level as every tom dick and harry that got out of the military (regardless of job) and turned in their application to the city FD.

    And as for my background, I went in the AF in 2000 open general with a good deal of fire training and half of a fire science degree. I was put into a firefighting job and after the academy did 4 years at Barksdale AFB in Shreveport (sucked). Got out and tested for 4 years for 15 departments each year before I made it to the final hiring stages of a major city. Then I turned it down to take an Air Force Civilian job (seriously sweet gig). After doing ride alongs with those major city departments, I'm confident I made a good decision.

    So basically, the point of this post is: don't fret if your recruiter can’t guarantee you a FF job. There are plenty of great things to do in the air force that will help you 90% as much as being a firefighter in the AF. If you're dead set on not going in unless you are a firefighter, ask your recruiter when the slots will refresh. Chances are the 1st of the year will bring new slots with the new budget. Regardless of what you do, if you aren't planning on doing anything before the month is over start looking into getting your fire 1 and 2 and your EMT. If you want to be a firefighter, taking these courses will show that you're serious about pursuing this career and have a general idea what to expect no matter where you apply. They'll also help you network with local fire departments, as most programs are run or sponsored by the local FD.

    I'd do it again man. It's not a bad time to join given our new leadership, the deployment tempo should scale down and they are starting to get away from the "lets deploy firefighters with the army convoys" idea they were working for a while. If the future force reduction leads to them completely doing away with military firefighters (this is probably at least a decade out though), you can separate and apply for a civilian slot since there will be a BUNCH of openings if that goes through. If not, do your four years and take it from there. Unless you are well into your 20s, you've got time to figure stuff out. The Air Force is a great place to do that.

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    Being former AF enlisted (15 years), you dont need tro be a FF to become an AF FF. Find another recruiter. You do need to pass the entrance test to qualify for the job though. Firefighting might be full for a few months and you might have to wait. But go talk to another recruiter 1st. Yours is using an old tech called " tell them they aren't qualified, so they will enter what I want them to be". Bait and switch.

    Out west here a majority of our Federal Fire Dept is made up of ex AF FFs and Forest Service Firefighters. Hang tough!

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