1. #1
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    Default Para Jumper and Coast Guard Rescue???

    I'm curious how these two things would help me in the fire service once I get out? If anyone has direct experience with either I would love some feedback.

    I know the Paramedic certificate from the PJ's would obviously be a leg up when looking for jobs, however, does having the ability to do heavy water rescue such as in the C.G. give you an advantage when applying? Ideally I would like to work somewhere in San Diego or the S.F. Bay area, given these are near the Pacific would having this training set me apart?

    Again, any advice would be much appreciated. If you're a Captain or B.C., would these qualities and experience be something that would set me a part as a candidate for a job?

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    The only thing that is really going to matter is just being a Veteran. It doesn't matter if you put out fires or pushed paperwork.

    You are going to get trained their way, not the military firefighting way. I joined the Navy and got extra points on my civil service. I went in for my interview and they could of cared less about my fire training in the Navy. They wanted to know that I was veteran who is willing to learn and make a commitment. And being a vet they knew I had those qualities. Good luck.

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    Right, I understand that said FD will want to train me in their own procedures, ways, etc. I was more looking for insight into whether or not that specialized training would help me while applying for a job?

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    I don't want to discourage you, but have you researched being a PJ? It's special operations, and extremely hard. Of those that pass the tests to even get into PJ school, 90% of them fail out. It's one of the toughest jobs out there in my opinion. If you can handle it though, then good for you. Like I said, I don't want to discourage you from doing it. I just want to make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into. It seems like an awesome job. To be one of the few that can do it, it would be an honor. Good luck.

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    I was a little unclear as to your current status, are you in the PJ's or CG now?
    If you are not, don't join them simply because you think it will help you get a fire service job later. It won't be a bad thing certainly, but it won't necessarily help you. You will still have to score high enough on a civil service exam (if that's the testing procedure for your prospective employer's city) and you will still have to pass all of your background and or psych checks. As an earlier poster mentioned having your military bonus points is helpful.
    If you are currently in the PJ's or CG then good for you! I certainly couldn't do it. Something about that whole swimming thing. You probably won't see any direct benefit from being a PJ or CG guy, as the other posted was correct you'll still get fire service/EMS service training anyway. Where it will come in potentially handy is in an interview process, or just by making things easier as a new recruit. You will have discipline, you will have comraderie, you will know what it means to carry out your job and protect your brothers. Those are traits that are to be highly regarded. Our area is seeing alot of guys get hired who are just looking for a paycheck, and they don't respect history, tradition, brotherhood like alot of military guys do.
    Bottom line, join them because you want to be one, not because you hope that it will benefit you later down the road, because there is no guarantee that it will. In any case, good luck and take care.

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    Yeah, I definitely wouldn't try and join the PJ's just so I could get my paramedic license. There are about 100 easier ways to go about it than that one.

    I just think the challenge and the life experience would be amazing. I wanted to join originally for the discipline and to find what I'm capable of when pushed. I'm young and have plenty of time for the fire service afterwards, right now I want to push myself and do something many others never get the opportunity to do.

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    Make sure you realize and are realistic about what you're taking on and the obstacles you're going to encounter. I'm sure you've been talking to recruiters, but have them get you in touch with someone actually doing it. find guys in your town that are in the military and talk to them. There's a lot of tricks a recruiter can use to fill his quotas, and you don't want to get stuck in a job you don't like because you didn't declare in your contract or something.

    Going to PJ or CG rescue swimmer school isn't something you're going to get into right out of basic, or even within your first few years of enlistment. There'll be a LOT of guys in line ahead of you, so it may take years before you even get your shot to even be considered, let alone let in.

    Just my opinion, but go get a degree and then go for OCS. If you're truly serious about the AF or another branch of the military, find a college/university with an ROTC and get involved with it. By the time you get out of school, you'll have an idea if you really want to go into the USAF or USCG. Either way, you've got a college degree which will benefit you in either, or in the fire service, and open some doors in any of the three. Being an officer, you may have a better shot at PJ than just enlisting and spending years doing something you may or may not enjoy waiting for your shot.

    Don't think I'm trying to talk you out of it, you've got my admiration even considering PJ school, especially if you know anything about what it entails and how difficult an undertaking it really is. I was looking at the Academy and/or PJ school when I was a senior in HS, I just couldn't pass the physical to get in due to a birth defect.

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    Yes, I'm very well aware of what the PJ pipeline entails and the almost two years of training that it takes to be one of the most elite soliders on earth. I have talked with a recruiter a bit but have mostly been doing research on my own for nearly 8 months and talking with my uncle. He was an olympic swimmer, Navy SEAL, and is now a fire fighter so I hold his opinion very highly as he has done much of what I aim to accomplish. Anyways, I want something that will challenge me and I know this or the Coast Guard will certainly do that.

    Any other opinions, experience, advice would be much appreciated.

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    The perseverance, dedication to duty, hands on skills, problem solving and ability to adapt are all great skills that are honed in any discipline under USSOCOM (although CG billets dont fall under them).

    I would think water rescue skills/abilities would only apply to Dept.s with a specialty team involving water, i.e. larger cities with water rescue/dive teams (hopefully you would have to wait to get on one of these as there are good men already in place) and smaller Dept's that need focus on water specialties i.e. Lake Tahoe/N.Lake Tahoe FD (off the top of my head).

    If waiting for open pipeline spots is an issue (talk to your recruiters...and research the **** out of your options before walking through the door. The bull**** will leave the table if you know what you are talking/asking about) look into AFR/Air Nat'l Guard as they both have guaranteed PJ AFSCs that will be direct placements into the pipeline.

    CG rescue swimmers and PJ's have limited assignment posts, plus only X amount of positions at each post. Keep this in mind.

    If you are looking for a PM cert plus some military experience with all the traits bot you and other posters have touched on in this thread already, don't forget SF medics. There are many more opportunities for landing a 18D spot than PJ or rescue swimmer.

    All the disciplines requiring PM go to the same medic course, one in Fayetteville NC and I think they recently opened another one. Where else does a goat or pig get shot alive and it is your job to keep it from dying? Some fly-by night medic school....don't think so!!

    The reason I keep bring up reserve opportunities is because as a reservist PJ or reservist 18D (SF medic), you will be activated (often) and rotated through on a frequent basis with heavier and more frequent training req's than other reservist units, while still getting the training and exposure to the traits both services (fire and military) co-possess, like brotherhood, effective chain of command, remembering/honoring those that came before us, tradition, honor etc..

    Lastly, if you do not go into to any of these pipelines with a 100% dedication to that job and that job ONLY, you will wash. And if you don't do it to yourself, the ones teaching and molding you will smell it and grind you down until you quit. If there are guys getting hired at 40, you can certainly focus on the military and move on only after your enlistment expires.
    The good thing about this job is that we have done so much, with so little, for so long that we can do everything with nothing...... which is what is wrong with this job.
    KTF | DTRT

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyS View Post
    The reason I keep bring up reserve opportunities is because as a reservist PJ or reservist 18D (SF medic), you will be activated (often) and rotated through on a frequent basis with heavier and more frequent training req's than other reservist units, while still getting the training and exposure to the traits both services (fire and military) co-possess, like brotherhood, effective chain of command, remembering/honoring those that came before us, tradition, honor etc..

    Lastly, if you do not go into to any of these pipelines with a 100% dedication to that job and that job ONLY, you will wash. And if you don't do it to yourself, the ones teaching and molding you will smell it and grind you down until you quit. If there are guys getting hired at 40, you can certainly focus on the military and move on only after your enlistment expires.
    You kind of read my mind actually. The more I look into PJ's the more Air National Guard seems like a better option. They go through the pipeline and receive all the same training, however, they spend about 100-150 days a year going through training as opposed to an enlisted PJ. They stated many ANG PJ's are fire fighters/ law enforcement on the side, which in all honesty would be my dream. I'm hoping I could get on in the 129th Rescue Squadron which is ANG and is located in the South Bay (San Fran).

    I would like to learn a little more about the 18D though. My friend is Army Special Forces, however, I don't think he's a medic. Is that what this classification trains to or are they simply EMTs? And yeah, I'm only 24 so I feel like even with 6 or so years in the ANG or another branch I would still have plenty of time to dedicate to fire fighting.

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    As an 18D you will be a NREMT-P (this goes for MARSOC Corpsman, PJs, medics for SEAL teams, CAG, PSYOP, ..you get the point) as well as *well* versed in immediate care vetrenarian skills and knowledge. If you make it this far, you will attend training at the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (USAJFKSWCS)s Joint Special Operations Medical Training Center, or JSOMTC for:

    Army SF Medic: 48 wks
    Navy Spec Ops Independent Duty Corpsman: 22 wks
    Spec Ops Command (USSOCOM) Combat Medic (read: all other spec ops medics): 26 wks

    Do your homework. It will take diligence on your part and effort on your recruiters part to set you up for success. If you show them your interest through solid knowledge and well thought out questions, they will be more apt to send you down the road fully prepared and established.

    P.S. You can always get the medic cert with your GI Bill....if your hung on being a Coastie but want to do some high speed stuff look into DOGs, which are made up of MSRTs, MSSTs, PSUs and TACLETs. They are the "Spec Ops" equivalent that USCG offers as they are under the DOT.


    OH, and how the hell did I learn all this stuff? I did my homework before I made my decision.
    The good thing about this job is that we have done so much, with so little, for so long that we can do everything with nothing...... which is what is wrong with this job.
    KTF | DTRT

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    One more option that hasn't been mentioned- mainly because it's not exactly an answer but might be of interest anyway: US Border Patrol's Search, Rescue, and Trauma (BORSTAR) teams are exposed to some challenging environments and situations.

    No knocks on the Jolly Greens or other SF guys; they have their work cut out for them, too. Having done SAR in New Mexico I have quite a bit of respect for the PJs.

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    Friction.....

    First of all let me say it seems for a young man, you seem to have your $hit together and are way ahead of anyone else your age. Congrats, on that.

    For a potential employer, a fire department, the human resources people or whoever handles the applications will look at your military experience. Regardless of where or what branch, it is the military discipline and training that will make you stand out. Yes, most places gives you a bonus for being in the military.

    Secondly, because the PJ's are so tough to get into, that will be a big selling point right there. The actual work expeirence will be another one. If you jump into freezing water, rescue someone, then treat them and start an IV in the back of a bumpy chopper in the dark, I'm sure doing one in the back of an ambulance on a bumpy street at 3am would be easy for you. In fact, the fire service could be boring for you compared to your experiences with the military. I used to work with a guy that was an EOD technician in the army. He used to say all the time that he has seen and done worse things in the army so nothing ever got him excited or rattled.

    Good luck on whatever you do. Above all else, stay safe doing it.
    Jason Knecht
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    I served as an Aircrewman in the USN, as a an AW2.
    The SAR swimmer program was challenging and interesting, but had little impact on my getting hired, or on my day to day work as a ff/pm.
    Perhaps if you were lucky enough to get hired with a dept that has helos, and that does helo ops involving deploying a swimmer, your background would be useful.
    The Depts nationally that do these types of ops is probably less than 5.

    So don't worry about whether or not your military career will help you in the Fire Service. Pick a position that you think will be interesting, and enjoy your time.

    The pipeline for PJ, or SAR in the USN/USCG, is rather challenging, and very competitive.
    After Hurricane Katrina every 18 year old joining the USN/USCG wanted to be the guy in the helo making saves.

    Funny how I never meet a cook from the military-everyone was a SEAL, or a PJ, or Special Forces, or a Sniper in Nam.
    But where are all the cooks? hmmm...

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    In NY you wont get Veterans credit unless you get an Expeditionary Medal. Very hard to get in the USCG.

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    Friction send me a PM or email me cianconroy@aol.com. I know a few guys who washed out of PJ school and into fire school that would tell you all about PJ school.
    A1C Christopher Conroy
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    Anything I post is my opinion and mine alone my views do not represent my department, the USAF, the DOD, and/or my volunteer dept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flipper123 View Post

    But where are all the cooks? hmmm...
    The first rule about military cooks is that you don't talk about military cooks.

    They have cooked so much food in so far away places it's so classified even they don't know. Gotta look out for those secret, tactical cooks.
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    ahh, the Seal/sniper/cook.
    I forgot that rating...

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