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  1. #1

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    Default Polk County/ City of Lakeland

    Does anyone know if or when Polk County or City of Lakeland might be hiring. My wife and I are moving to this area soon and I need to find a new job. I am state Certified in Florida if anyone has info that would be great.


  2. #2
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    I would expand your search area about 10-fold. while you MAY be able to get on at one of those dept's, everyone around here (as in the entire state, and really the whole country) is facing major budget issues, and hirings are more and more rare. in florida particularly, the homestead exemption was recently doubled (less local revenue), amendment 1 was passed (less local revenue) and the bottom fell out of housing (both sales and construction). so it's difficult to get a job anywhere these days. I assume you have your state emt since that's a requirement, but are you a medic too? could help. lakeland is als as you probably know, and polk is in the process of merging with ems and has a few als engines. I would look at hillsborough county as they are by far one of the best dept's around (and not just cause I work there ;), but there are also the cities of tampa, plant city, and temple terrace within hillsborough county (all als). I think hillsborough is going to open up apps sometime in spring. on the other hand, we are about to hire 20-something people (out of 200-300, can't remember which) but I also hear rumors that the budget is far worse than expected, so who knows if they'll even get on. there is osceola county to the east, not to mention orlando and orange county. there are about 20 dept's in pinellas county, a little further west. I am in hydraulics class right now in winter haven with some lakeland and polk guys, and no one has mentioned that they are hiring. an orange county guy said something about hiring, but as I have the best job of anyone in the class, I really didn't pay close attention. the city/county websites are usually a wealth of information as I'm sure you know. inside polk county, the cities of winter haven, lake wales, haines city, bartow, and mulberry have their own depts, possibly more I don't know about. (these are mostly bls I think). if you are a medic and need a job a little quicker, I would look at rural metro in orlando, sunstar in pinellas. polk ems, and there are a couple other ambulance services, just as a stopgap measure if you need some cash while waiting. you could do that as an emt also, but the pay of course would suck even worse. also, polk county hires part time firefighters (although I know at least one part timer who has been passed over a few times and outsiders have been hired full time instead of him.)
    I live in lakeland and like I said work in hillsborough, and have also worked in pinellas for an fd and the ambulance service (sunstar). if I can be of any help just let me know. good luck.

  3. #3
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    well said....i work in Osceola County and we just hired.....there is also the cities of Kissimmee and St Cloud in our county...check lake county also to the north of polk

    Reebok i got some questions for you.....i am very interested in your dept but probably not for a couple years.plus i am in medic school with the county now but i wouldnt feel at all right just up and leaving....also i live in Brandon and make the commute and sometimes i am kinda tired of it......what kind of benefits does your contract have.....is a contract public record and if so how can i get a copy......I see where my dept could go and we get some great benefits some of which i believe your dept has also (3 week kelly day for example)......not to mention i have heard great things about HCFR......my deal is i chose to become a medic.....but i didnt choose it because i wanted to be a box jockey.....i still want to be able to have my fair share of time ridin backwards.....its gettin closer to that way with us but i know HCFR is all medics and am i correct by saying they only hire medics or soon to be medics?

    sorry to hijack the thread but some of this has been weighing on me heavily recently for both Hills. and Tampa

  4. #4
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    I was in medic school with my first dept and left when I was done. I paid back 100% to them (and actually had to donate over $400 to the explorer program because the contract I signed was that I owed less to the city than they paid out, but I wanted to be fair to them. it's not easy to get a job, much less your first, and besides, fair is fair).
    benefits was the #1 reason I left my first dept. the main ones for me were the florida retirement system (which you will be able to continue of course), 100% health benefits including family (this isn't the case anymore, I now pay 35/month for family coverage which is still great. I think it covers employee+one 100% and definitely employee only), the three week kelly day (r-day as it's called).
    you have to be a medic within 2 years. how much you're on a rescue is iffy. I really can't give you a good answer, but I've been there 2.5 years and I spend probably 60%-40% (engine-rescue) but there are also about 60-80 people hired after me, and most aren't even medics yet, so I will be spending less time once they get their patch. of course, I will also be an "acting lieutenant" then (the officer on the rescue) so I may actually spend more time on the box, but at least I'll be getting 7% acting pay and get to be "in charge" heh. let me know if you have any more questions. PM me your email address.

  5. #5
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    Polk County, Florida
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    Polk posted a few jobs in December and had about 120+ apply. We still have not interviewed for these positions. We will be promoting lieutenants and drivers over the next few months and that might result in a few more openings, but they are freezing vacancies left and right. I just had a lieutenant retire and her spot is frozen for now.

    I wish I had better news for you.

  6. #6
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    Reebok-

    I was looking at the Hillsborough web site and it said they have twenty ALS transport units. Is that accurate? If so, do they run non-stop?

  7. #7
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    there are 25 now. some are busier than others. where did you see that? the rescue division part of the fire/rescue website says 25.
    http://hillsboroughcounty.org/firere...escue/home.cfm

  8. #8
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    I was counting the stations on the "Master Plan" map. I count 19, but I see now the date is 2003.

    http://hillsboroughcounty.org/firere...facilities.cfm

    The ""proposed facilities" is actually the "current facilities"-the links are mixed up.

  9. #9
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    oh ok,. well unfortunately virtually everything in those docs is shot down now. we're all hoping that we can get by with our jobs at this point with all the budget cuts. a better list can be found here:
    http://hillsboroughcounty.org/firere...ddresslist.pdf

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