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  1. #1
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    Default Cal Fire Interview

    I just got the invite for an interview with the Santa Clara Unit. I have a few questions:

    I applied to a few other units as well. Do most interview at about the same time? I live in Milwaukee, WI and will be flying out. I really don't have the money to fly out four times so it would be nice to have them at about the same time. I applied with OCFA for their hand crew position. That test is around the same time which is good. I'll just rent a car and make the drive up to Morgan Hill after that.

    Where, other than the Cal Fire website, can I get information about the job? I want to learn as much as possible before the interview. Being from Milwaukee, we don't learn about wildland firefighting.

    I've asked this in another thread about Cal Fire in general, but what are my chances on getting hired by the Santa Clara Unit? I'm a part-time firefighter. I just graduated with my Associate Degree in Fire Protection. I have WI-FFI, FFII, EMT-B(National Registry), HazMat-Tech, and Fire Inspector. I'm not sure if any of those will help. I'm just a bit worried about not having a Wildland Course under my belt. So does anyone here know if I still stand a chance with this unit?

    Any information would be great!


  2. #2
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    Congrats on getting an interview, SC U is a very busy unit with a lot of initial attack. Yes, most interviews are AROUND the same time, but they don't coordinate so you may end up having to pick one unit over another if they are on the same day. As far as getting info about the job, fly in a couple days early and call the stations to set up visits. Its crucial you show your face. Coordinate so you can hit 3-4 in one day. I think there are only 9 scu stations so its doable.

    Not having your 67 will really hurt your odds. Check out Ben Davis Training Center in riverside, San Luis Obispo County's training schedule, and weed, ca for possible 67 hour academies. SCU doesn't offer an academy, so even if you are in rank 1, they can't touch you until you submit the cert to them. Call around, its hard, but not impossible to find an academy.

    Also make sure you give yourself time to get from the OC to morgan hill it is a 6-7 hour drive depending on traffic.

    let me know if you want to know anything else

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    Thanks. Would I need this academy before the interview? I can I still rank very high without it and then do it before I start the job? I'll look at the places that you recommended. Are the academies long?(one class/week) Or do they have quick ones where I can finish it faster and go every day?

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    No, you don't need the academy before you interview. Otherwise how would SCU have given you an interview? Yeah the interview doesnt take in consideration your certs, your rank is based on your overall interview. It is also Ben Clark, not Ben Davis, my bad. I'm not sure the lengths, the best bet for you is go to the calfire website, find the unit contacts, and call every training division in the state. They will let you know if there are any civillian academies available.

    Even if you cant get a cert until june, you will still be eligible for hire late season (as long as you rank high and someone wants you). Also some units offer a 67 to the new hires. (LNU, Mendo, Humbolt) So you may want to focus on those units. check out marin county fire too. They have a handcrew and engine seasonals, and it is easier to get picked up there than cal fire. You dont need any certs, they put on their own academy. They dont start taking apps till march, and they go mutual aid to SCU on most fires.

  5. #5
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    Thanks. You've been a lot of help. I just asked if you needed it before the interview because I was thinking that maybe they interview everyone with completed and eligible apps. Not sure how selective they are before interviews.

    I actually called the unit and asked today. He told me that it is possible to still get hired. He said that it's been done before. However if I interview better than someone with it already done, he will get it before me like you said.

    Seems most academies started already. I'm going to keep looking though. And thanks about the Marin County thing. My friend that was talking to me about moving in with him is going to be living in San Francisco. So Marin County is actually closer it seems.

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    yeah good luck, hit me up for anymore q's if you need to.

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    Congrats! Just make sure you get a few days in to do station visits. I would recommend an open 67 hour academy, but I have been looking for one for two months, and they are all full or nearing completion!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ticonderoga View Post
    Congrats! Just make sure you get a few days in to do station visits. I would recommend an open 67 hour academy, but I have been looking for one for two months, and they are all full or nearing completion!
    If you find one let me know.

    I think I might see how I do on the interview first since I know that I can now. I'd like to save as much money as possible in case I move soon. I'm finishing up my background check(should be this week) with DCFD. Then I have written tests with San Diego and San Francisco coming up.

    Thanks slapinjoe.

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    Forum Member CaseyBhoy's Avatar
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    Not trying to hijack your thread here, clark, but it's Cal Fire interview related so I thought I'd pass this along to yourself and others.

    Looks like Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit is only granting 240 interviews due to the "large number of applications received and the uncertain state of the Department's budget".

    Unfortunately, I found this out first-hand as I am not one of the 240 who are being granted an interview.

    Good luck!

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    Casey... I got the same letter for that Unit.

    Does anyone know if the Mendocino Unit will put you through an academy? I have an interview there as well. Thanks.

  11. #11
    Forum Member CaseyBhoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clark918 View Post
    Casey... I got the same letter for that Unit.

    Does anyone know if the Mendocino Unit will put you through an academy? I have an interview there as well. Thanks.
    Yeah, some friends have said they have gotten that same letter for a couple of rounds now. Guess we just have to get 'em in the first day!

    As for Mendocino, I can't confirm. However, they did take a first-timer last year from the reserve unit I am a part of (prior to having their FF1, Red Card, etc), so my guess is yes they will put you through.

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    Talking From Wi. also

    Clark I got the same letter as you also. Im pretty much in the same boat also. I had an interview up in Yreka on Monday not having the 67 hour class and Haz-mat Ops is what killed me. They did tell me however that I was one of the first that they have interviewed up there that was missing those so they were not really sure what is up. I talked to Mend. Unit today about this and she told me that the budget was a big concern as far as staffing and as far as that they are interviewing 400 people and no idea how many they are even hiring. I was told take the interview and see what happens. I guess if all else do what im do and use it as a learning tool. What day and time is your interview? Maybe its about time us Wi. boys show em that were not just flat landers good luck.

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    How many units have you guys heard back from? I have only heard back from three units so far.

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    I as well had an interview up in Yreka on Monday and I heard from one of my buddies whom also interviewed with the Siskiyou Unit that they had 13 seasonals from last year that have rehire rights that they don't have positions for... so it sounds like the Siskiyou Unit (atleast right now with the budget looking the way it is) is planning on going 3-0 staffing. Tomorrow (Thursday) I've got interviews with Shasta-Trinity in the morning and then Santa Cruz-San Mateo in the afternoon. I will fill you all in on any useful information that I am able to obtain regarding plans for each unit going either 3-0, 4-0, and if they have a new hire academy that they put on, as some units do not have week long new hire academies.

    Any information that you guys gather from your interviews would be greatly appreciated.

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    How many units have you guys heard back from so far? Ive only heard from 3 ( Humboldt/Delnorte, Sonoma/Napa and San Andreas) and I applied to all the northern California stations and a few southern California stations.

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    Mendo has had academies in the past (as recent as last year). But the financial situation in Ca is so bleak that they might cut it and just hire people who already have it, unfortunately. The governor just gave the order to lay off 20,000 state workers. So far, Public safety hasn't been touched, but who knows what will happen. They might just do a 5-10% pay cut. LNU is very competitive, they hired about 50 out of 1600 apps last year, so don't get discouraged. Remember, the interview q's come from sacramento, so each interview will be very similar.

  17. #17
    Forum Member FortechFEO's Avatar
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    Good Luck! WI to CA..A bit of a culture shock.
    "The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action."

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    How many stations have you guys heard back from? I applied to all the northern California stations and a few southern California stations, but Ive only heard back from three (Humboldt/Del Norte, Sonoma/Napa and Tuolumne-Calaveras).

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