Gotta a Couple questions for some of the Fed Guys/or girls out there. How did you start into Fire and where are you now. Here's the kicker if you could, how would ya do it again?
I was offered a a spot at a GS-5 level for the USFS. I am a Carded Engine Boss, ICT5, EMT-B, FF-1, Sawyer-B, and HECM-T. I have worked with The FS through local VFD on quite a few things from Fires, to training, and agrements. Like the people there and have good realations with them. This kinda has me thinking about jumping off the Private Engine.
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Thread: How did you Do it?
01-30-2009, 06:49 PM #1
How did you Do it?
02-01-2009, 12:38 AM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
I started with a private company and first chance I got I jumped ship to the feds. I found the fire assignments to be better, training better, equipment better and in general the crews to be more by type of personality. I worked my way up until I was a smokejumper. If I had to do it all over again I would do the EXACT same thing.
Find out where you want to be in the fed system and go for it. For me it was being a smokejumper, thats where I wanted to be. I ended up turning down numerous PSE appointments because I wanted to jump as a temp and get my PSE as a jumper and not be a PSE detailer 1 season jumper.
For me it was the way to go, but keep in mind everyones experiences with the feds will be different. I am sure you will get private guys saying they get all the perks.
02-01-2009, 01:21 AM #3
- Join Date
- May 2007
Ya can't beat the security of a government job!
02-01-2009, 08:03 PM #4
Thats Exactly where i want to be within a 3 year timeline. I know for a Fact that I want to take my HECM, and work as a Heli-rappeler( Dope On a Rope.) For a season, and then spring board into Jumping. I want to know however whats the training like to Jump? I have worked with Jumpers( Hard to believe in ND, huh?) that are Type 3 IC's, and such. Does the Average Pulaski Motor Get to jump? or are they looking for more of the overcast trained?
02-02-2009, 12:03 AM #5
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
Sounds like you know where you want to end up, so I would stick to the feds because private time is not really counted...
I am not sure if you want to put your email address up, but if you do i would be more than happy to help you out as much as I can.
02-02-2009, 03:09 PM #6
02-02-2009, 06:01 PM #7
Hahaha! Go be a Hotshot. More likely to get a jump slot if you have a couple years on the shots. Helislack you spend more watching the helicopters fly in and out of helibase than you do rappelling. If you want to fight fire. Stay away from any airborne firefighting operations. It's like prevention work. 1 in 100 are able to make a career out of it."The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action."
02-03-2009, 01:48 AM #8
02-03-2009, 02:41 PM #9
Well there are good and bad crews out there in the world, but it is definately a commitment. My advice is get your foot in the door and experience on an engine and if you are lucky take a ride along trip with a handcrew and see what the crew world is about. Now if you take a trip with a Type 2 crew you need to keep a perspective that Shot crews are a whole new level on top of that. The best thing I can recommend is get your boots on the ground and try things out and see what you like and go from there. I'd be happy address any questions send me a PM. I've never jumped, but have a few friends that did, but I can pretty much cover the other modules pretty well."The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action."
02-10-2009, 04:04 PM #10
Another Question for you, Has Anyone worked with the NWCG Aussie/American Exchange program. One more reason that i need to go FederalCourage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.
02-11-2009, 10:26 AM #11
My names on the list for this year. We will see. It is mainly Div supes, Task Forces leaders, ect. High end and support quals. I'll let you know if I go."The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action."
02-12-2009, 01:12 AM #12
I see your from out west, Whats with everyones obession with Cal Fire(CDF)? I think I see enough Questions about them alone to start up a sub-fourm. Better yet whats your experience with them like?
Last edited by Bushwhacker; 02-12-2009 at 01:15 AM.Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.
02-12-2009, 01:43 AM #13
CAL FIRE (CDF) is the largest fire department in California and the third largest fire department in the United States. Our firefighters protect 33 million acres of State Responsibility Area (SRA)."
(Taken from CDF Firefighters Local 2881 website)
02-12-2009, 03:02 PM #14
I started in the Navy as a shipboard firefighter. I got out and was hired by the Feds as a GS-5 Firefighter to get some experience as a structural firefighter. Then I took the Long Beach City test as was hired by them. Twenty-six years later I retired. You need to get your foot in the door somewhere and with the Feds is not a bad move.Respectfully,
Lifetime Member CSFA
IAFF Alumni Member
02-12-2009, 03:53 PM #15
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
"obsession with cal fire"? In California cal fire is THE top firefighting organization, especially for people trying to start a career in the fire service. Seasonals get benefits, retirement, 3 by 4 work schedule, and also respond to any type of fire and call you can think of. It is not just wildland fire. This, and their aggressive fire control as opposed to federal wildland management are all reasons 2000 applicants per unit each year is not uncommon.
02-12-2009, 11:56 PM #16
Not trin to start a fight and I a am sorry if you took it that way.
"CDF Firefighters make up the fire department for 30 of our 58 counties.............. we make up California’s Fire Department"
Thats about half.
"This, and their aggressive fire control as opposed to federal wildland management..."
Thats a pretty big statement.
It was a question, don't get bent outa shape,or take offense.
Last edited by Bushwhacker; 02-13-2009 at 12:30 AM.Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.
02-13-2009, 02:04 AM #17
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
because they still fight more wildland fires than any department in the world.
Last edited by slapinjoe; 02-13-2009 at 02:10 AM.
02-13-2009, 12:24 PM #18
Here in California, it is one of the best opportunities to get into the fire service and that is why so many people pursue it. Plus, if you get on as a seasonal firefighter with the agency, you are pretty much guaranteed a position for the next season and have the opportunity to become a full-time member of the department.
Finally, Cal Fire is first-in on just about any wildland fire here in California, hence why I posted it in the Wildland forum.
02-13-2009, 03:34 PM #19
Last edited by Bushwhacker; 02-13-2009 at 03:38 PM.Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.
02-13-2009, 04:00 PM #20
I think the reason the CDF Firefighters page makes the statement about the "2%" is that here in California there is a common misconception that Cal Fire only fights wildland whereas they really are an all-risk agency in many parts of the state.
If you do the math (0.02 x 300,000 = 6,000), that's quite a few wildland fires. We also don't typically get "small" wildland fires here either. Have you heard or seen what happens to Southern California on an almost annual basis during the summer and fall?
Some of the worst fires in US history have occurred here in California: Oakland Hills, Cedar (San Diego #1), Witch Creek/Harris (San Diego #2). Cal Fire/CDF, amongst hundreds of other agencies, was there for all of them.
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