Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    cookt0802
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bremerton,WA
    Posts
    3

    Question Advice for Navy Firefighter

    I have 13 years in the military I am a new husband and father. I am now 31 and not getting any younger. The military has been good to me But, I am starting to question if it is still the right place for my family and me. I have this very strong desire to be part of a full time firefighting team.

    I have invested many years in the military and feel it would be crazy to throw them away. I heard that I could transfer them to the Federal or DOD firefighting departments is this true? I also have completed the Dept. of Labor Journeyman’s License for Firefighter (any industry) and also Pump Repair will these help out at all? My time in the military is almost up.

    Any advice will help!


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Green Bay
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cookt0802 View Post
    I have 13 years in the military I am a new husband and father. I am now 31 and not getting any younger. The military has been good to me But, I am starting to question if it is still the right place for my family and me. I have this very strong desire to be part of a full time firefighting team.

    I have invested many years in the military and feel it would be crazy to throw them away. I heard that I could transfer them to the Federal or DOD firefighting departments is this true? I also have completed the Dept. of Labor Journeyman’s License for Firefighter (any industry) and also Pump Repair will these help out at all? My time in the military is almost up.

    Any advice will help!

    I also am former Navy, Damage Controlman. I also have the Journeyman license from completing the Navy Apprenticeship program and have been to several schools from Gas Free, CBR-C school, pump school etc. I applied briefly for some DOD jobs, but put my focus towards civilian and structural firefighting. My best advice would be to check the qualifications of such DOD depts and Fed depts and apply. I can't say how your experience and schooling will transfer, because you will do a different type of firefighting than what you did in the Navy. Being military though, you may have a better shot at such a job than most.

    However, if you were looking to go the civilian route, do NOT count on your military experience to help you land a job. Your best bet is to obtain college education in fire protection. Most depts don't recognize the military experience and have not seen one that accepted the Journeyman card. Those depts that I made a ways in the process without education were the depts requiring NO education and only had to be 18, HS, and DL.

    Look into the DOD stuff and Fed stuff, I believe USAJOBS was the site link. Some depts that did stick out were Wright Patterson in Ohio and some others in Cali. I also seen an announcement for a private firefighter working for Newport News Shipyard. Good luck in your search, but if this is the job you really want, knock out as much college as you can. Try to get into a fire academy or on with a volly dept, if you are shore based right now. Just don't rely upon your military experience alone.
    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.

  3. #3
    cookt0802
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bremerton,WA
    Posts
    3

    Default Thank you

    Ok...and thank you for your advice. I have been hitting the college hard this year. It looks like that is going to be the best way.

    Thank you for your time.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,047

    Default

    Military Experience
    Candidates who have served our country in the Armed Forces have a huge advantage over those who have not. It is generally believed that while a military veterans may not have as many certificates and fire science units as the other candidates (they were busy serving our country), they offer so much more.
    There is no substitute for life experience. The personal growth a young man or woman experiences in the military is second to none. This growth is of course magnified depending on the assignments held. Many of those who joined the military at a young age grew up very rapidly when put into dangerous situations.
    Being assigned to the front line is not required to get “credit” for serving in the military. Fire departments realize that there are many support roles that require dedication and commitment. While there is only one person on the nozzle that puts out the fire, there are numerous other assignments that need to take place on the fire ground. It is important that a firefighter be willing to work in a support role for the good of the team.
    The fire service is a para-military organization. Many of the common terms in the fire service, such as Captain and lieutenants were taken directly from the military. Words like code, honor, commitment, and integrity are as important to the fire service as they are to the military.
    Men and women with military backgrounds are usually very mature, regardless of their age. They understand the need to get along with others, especially with people who come from different backgrounds from them. They understand commitment and the need to work until the job is completed. They are used to working for long periods of time in less than ideal conditions.
    Physical fitness is emphasized in the military. As a result military men and women are usually in very good shape. This is extremely important to the fire service, because the number one reason entry-level candidates fail out of the academy is due to poor physical fitness. In addition, a physically fit firefighter will miss less time due to injury than a firefighter who is not fit. Military personnel have been taught the importance of a life-long physical fitness program and the importance of proper diet. These good habits will be shared with the firefighters in the station.
    Military people demonstrate respect for authority and understand the chain of command. The fire service operates on the same hierarchy principle as the military. The group clearly understands code and honor. These qualities are extremely important in the fire service, because firefighters are held to a higher standard than the average person in the community.
    Military men and women are used to working in a structured environment. They understand the importance of doing something right the first time. Similar to the fire department, people’s lives are impacted if things are not kept in a constant state of operational readiness. Firefighters must check out their equipment each and every day. They must know the intricacies of each tool kept on the engine or truck. Training and continuing education are essential to the fire service. It is imperative that firefighters are able to work unsupervised; completion of a job or task is a reflection of them.
    Getting along in the fire station is critically important to being successful in the fire service. Courtesy to fellow firefighters is critical. Cleaning up after one self is expected. This is one of the first things military men and women learn in Basic Training.
    One of the strengths found in military men and women, however, is also commonly a cause of strife during their probationary year. People who have earned rank in the military are used to giving orders. As a rookie firefighter you are expected to take orders, not give them. Humility is an extremely important quality to possess as a rookie firefighter. Oftentimes rookie firefighters who have spent time in the military are older than the average candidate.
    It is not uncommon for an older probationary firefighter to be working under the tutelage of a much younger senior firefighter, engineer, or even lieutenant or captain. If the rookie firefighter does not have the proper mind set, he or she will be in for a difficult probationary year.
    If you are still in the military and are interested in a career in the fire service, it is important that you start making provisions NOW. Start taking online classes NOW.
    If possible, put yourself in a position to get fire service-related training such as Medic or Corpsman. Hazardous Materials and firefighter training will also be beneficial. Lastly, work on general education courses so you can earn your Associates degree.
    Do not be intimidated by all of the candidates who have every certification under the sun. They were able to obtain these as full-time students while you were busy fulfilling your continuous to the American people.
    A candidate who is an EMT, possesses related experience as a reserve or volunteer firefighter, and is active taking fire science courses is usually at the top of his or her game. Get your qualifications, learn how to take a fire department interview, and earn your badge.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Green Bay
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    Military Experience
    Candidates who have served our country in the Armed Forces have a huge advantage over those who have not. It is generally believed that while a military veterans may not have as many certificates and fire science units as the other candidates (they were busy serving our country), they offer so much more.

    If you are still in the military and are interested in a career in the fire service, it is important that you start making provisions NOW. Start taking online classes NOW.
    If possible, put yourself in a position to get fire service-related training such as Medic or Corpsman. Hazardous Materials and firefighter training will also be beneficial. Lastly, work on general education courses so you can earn your Associates degree.

    A candidate who is an EMT, possesses related experience as a reserve or volunteer firefighter, and is active taking fire science courses is usually at the top of his or her game. Get your qualifications, learn how to take a fire department interview, and earn your badge.

    My guess is that you never served in the military Chief, nor really had to apply for a career job in the last 10 years. I agree with a lot of what you are saying and it is accurate, but the biggest issue facing most vets is getting in the door. All the qualities a vet receives while serving IS regarded highly in the fire service. However, in today's world, FD's are NOT the ones really deciding upon who gets put on a list to get hired. It all starts with Human Resources, many staffed by people who have no clue about military experience and the relationship to the job the person is applying for. If you don't meet the necessary requirements, IE education, etc, you do NOT move on in the process. In this case, this person HAS firefighting experience and could probably adapt easily into virtually EVERY career dept out there. However, the Journeyman card is not going to cut it, nor the military schooling. Why, because it isn't a FD official reviewing applications, but HR.

    I have, and will recommend any vet looking towards such a career to take advantage of college courses offered and knock out gen ed courses on the military's dime. The military offers many classes to service members for the cost of a textbook. These classes are through accredited universities, so the subjects do transfer.

    I would also recommend taking outside classes like EMT, etc while serving, but there is difficulties there. You are at the needs of the service and while there may be corpsman or medics out there, you just can not go into that job. You also do not go to those schools, just because you would like to further your education. If your job, MOS, or rating does NOT include medic, or HAZMAT, etc, the military isn't going to send you. If you go to a school, it is for the benefit of the military, not the individual.

    I don't mean to make this a disagreement with what you posted, but this is the reality of the vets serving today. College is huge and doing as much college before getting out is the biggest benefit to getting into a fire protection course. Online classes may also help in that endeavor. Unfortunately the military experience alone will not do too much for a vet to get their foot in the door anymore today.
    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.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    69

    Default Dod

    If you have your certifications like FFI&II , Pump Operator , EMT , Aerials etc. then I suggest that you apply. I think going to college is a great thing and it helps some veterans. I am a veteran, GWI and Panama.When I got out I got a job with the Dept. of Justice and worked for several years before I figured out Law Enforcement wasnt my thing. I left federal service and got my certs at a local city department which took me three years and I got hired on as a DOD firefighter. I made 60-65k last year as a GS-7, thats right. As a GS-7 my base salary is around 38k but DOD firefighters get paid time and a half for everything over 40 hours a week so we get 32 hours a OT each pay period. That aint bad for a guy from Tobacco Barn NC who doesnt have any college. I suggest you use your Veteran status and start applying on USAJOBS.GOV. Send me a PM and I will help you a little more if you are interested.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Green Bay
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by beargun View Post
    If you have your certifications like FFI&II , Pump Operator , EMT , Aerials etc.
    I can't speak for the OP and his quals, but I read it as more as he is a Damage Controlman, or close rating doing FF in the Navy. The Journeyman card is not hard to obtain, but doesn't include such certifications. There are no Navy schools that teach such certifications.
    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.

  8. #8
    cookt0802
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bremerton,WA
    Posts
    3

    Default Thanks!

    Thank you all for taking the time to respond and give advice. It's refreshing to see that some are still willing to take time to help out.

    I am a Damage Controlman and have every qual possible you can in the field. I have been in every position on a FF team as possible. I have been Scene Leader to Fire Marshal for years now. I have all types of quals, certs, and schools like Gas Free, Hazmat, Chemical Biological and Radiological (CBR), Safety Officer, Engineering Duty Officer, and even Army Toxic Agent and Hazmat training. I have been to the Gulf in support of the war 3 times and have all the awards and medals to go with it. I am not the type to sit back and blow my own horn as I just did above. But, I hope this gives a better picture of my position. jccrabby3084 I believe what you are saying and correct me if I am wrong. “What we do as DC man does not transfer when it comes to structural firefighting as ship-board firefighters?”

    In reply to Chief Lepore I can’t agree with you more when it comes to life experience in the military and how it would transfer. I am grateful for the time you took for that response. It gives me and hopefully others who read this some hope. Being in the military for so long you get a feeling of this is all you know. And some don’t make that step of faith. But, I guess the big key for me is set myself up as much as possible. Then, make that step.

    Thanks again and God Bless.

    Tony

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,047

    Default

    JCCrabby,
    You are correct, I have not APPLIED for a job in the last 10 years. I have, however, been on the final selection panel (Chife's Interview) for the last 5 academies (24 in each academy) my department has hired. I believe that when you reread my post, you will see that you and I are advocating the same course of action.

    Let me cut and paste parts of my post:

    If you are still in the military and are interested in a career in the fire service, it is important that you start making provisions NOW. Start taking online classes NOW.
    If possible, put yourself in a position to get fire service-related training such as Medic or Corpsman. Hazardous Materials and firefighter training will also be beneficial. Lastly, work on general education courses so you can earn your Associates degree.
    Do not be intimidated by all of the candidates who have every certification under the sun. They were able to obtain these as full-time students while you were busy fulfilling your continuous to the American people.
    A candidate who is an EMT, possesses related experience as a reserve or volunteer firefighter, and is active taking fire science courses is usually at the top of his or her game.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Last edited by BCLepore; 03-10-2009 at 03:28 AM.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Green Bay
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    JCCrabby,
    You are correct, I have not APPLIED for a job in the last 10 years. I have, however, been on the final selection panel (Chife's Interview) for the last 5 academies (24 in each academy) my department has hired. I believe that when you reread my post, you will see that you and I are advocating the same course of action.


    If possible, put yourself in a position to get fire service-related training such as Medic or Corpsman. Hazardous Materials and firefighter training will also be beneficial.


    The issue I was bringing up was that while you may have been on a final selection panel, how many applications have you personally gone through to see if the person even makes the cut to test? If you personally are reviewing the hundreds to thousands of applications, then that would definately be a rarity. Point is, the FD makes the criteria for firefighter and typically a Human Resources dept will handle the applications. If the application does NOT contain the prerequisites, the application gets dumped. The HR employee is not going to see if the candidate held a similar position in the military.

    Here is the point, a medic or corpsman could probably run circles around most EMT's, yet if the veteran does NOT have the EMT cert for a job, the application is dumped. (many vets are EMT, but I'm not 100% sure, I have seen some former corpsman posting elsewhere that paramedic or even EMT cert is NOT included in the military training) Also, medic or corpsman is its own job and another military member can not just take that training, they would have to change jobs.

    As for firefighting, I would put up the firefighting skills of anyone in the Navy. Firefighting is taken seriously and is the biggest threat to sailors. As the OP posted, he has all these firefighting qualifications and could probably run an incident as good as most IC's with 20 plus years. However, all that means nothing on a firefighter application. If State FF1 and 2 is a prerequisite for a job, the OP will not move on to test with his military experience alone. A firefighter in the military, who may respond for the neighboring community, doesn't have the same certs as a civilian FF, from a civilian school.

    My point is, is that the days of using the military as a springboard into a civilian field are about done. Most vets can't walk onto a FD today, unless the FD is only asking for 18, HS/GED, and DL. The skills learned in the military can help when obtaining an education, but unless they have the actual certs a dept is looking for, their military experience isn't going to get them in the door. The military experience is great for a reviewing member sitting on a selection board, but doesn't mean anything to that HR employee.

    I know we do agree on the education, but your first post seemed as though you are telling someone in the military they could get firefighting or medic experience while serving, and land a career FF job. The reality is, the military's training doesn't get accepted by the gatekeeper at HR. I would say the better advice is to tell someone to NOT count on their military training alone to get them a job.
    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.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    north of San Francisco
    Posts
    293

    Default

    I can say that I have worked with hundreds of people try to become firefighters. All walks of life, ages, education levels, military personnel both with and without firefighting, all parts of the country as well as Canada have been represented. The people I have seen get snatched up quickest were people with military service. People that have been firefighters are up there also, but in a situation where both are equally educated and certified; it is almost always the person that served the country that gets selected.

    You are right that a lot of military certs. and education don’t transfer into the public sector, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. I coached a guy that had been trained by the Royal British Navy in Arctic warfare and also as a medic/corpsman; he got his EMT in the US and took three EMT tests. While he was only an EMT all of those departments offered him jobs and placed him at the top of their lists, because he wasn’t just an EMT, he just got his EMT to “get in the door” as you said.

    Yes you may have to do some things to get the chance for them to give you a look, but they will. I have heard from the people testing, as well as the people hiring that the people with the military time are who they are looking for. They know how to fit into the chain of command, wear a uniform, be respectful, and just learn in general.

    I would have to say over the last four years I have coached more than 80 people coming back from, and some still in the military. I do not recall received one call from one that didn’t get “The Call”. I may not hear back from everyone that gets a job offer, but let me tell you I hear from everyone that doesn’t.

    Please do yourself and us firefighters a favor and consider trying for the job. It is a great rewarding job, and we need people like you. Every department has stories of some of the goofballs we have hired, but it is never the military people.


    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    nrtc@sonic.net
    www.myfireinterview.com
    (707)869-1330

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Green Bay
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cookt0802 View Post
    jccrabby3084 I believe what you are saying and correct me if I am wrong. “What we do as DC man does not transfer when it comes to structural firefighting as ship-board firefighters?”

    Basically yes, don't count on the Navy certifications and experience as firefighting experience to land a job. I spend time on the Military.com forums as well and see countless people looking at a certain rating thinking it will land them a civilian job. People look to go DC to be a FF or MA to be a cop and so forth. Years ago, one could walk out of the service and into such a job, that isn't the case anymore and college and other certifications are also needed.

    Now these guys pushing their advice are right when it comes to getting the badge and how military personnel stand out. What isn't seen is the person holding the key to that badge, the Human Resources person, doesn't interpret the applications. If they have the prerequisites, they get to test, if not they don't. Unfortunately all the experience and knowledge you get in the service won't help you get through THAT door. Once through to the written test, then the rest is up to you and that military experience does stand out.

    Now as a former DC myself, I will tell you that your training WILL help you in and on the job, moreso than getting you in. You understand systems probably better than most structural FF's. I can also look at a system and understand how it will work, how it can help if there is a fire and so forth. As a DC you train others, so you have some teaching experience. Very effective to have when in front of a crowd doing a fire prevention talk etc. You have run scenes as a OSL, TL etc, of which most FF candidates are lucky to understand what IC means. You are able to think a few more steps ahead. I find myself in situations like this all the time, you know what needs to be done and even a jr FF should speak up with pertinent info. For some people it takes years to be able to look ahead, as a DC, you've been doing that for sometime. Much of the FF gear you work with is on FD's. As a member of our USAR team, and even when training with other members from different depts, there was a PECU. Most folks never seen one and stuck with oxy/acetylene or plasma cutters. Well my experience using that tool in the Navy, I could run circles around them.

    Bottom line, that experience you have WILL help. And like these other folks on here, don't just limit yourself to DOD or a Fed dept, you could get on with a civilian dept, yes even in your 30's. Find a school where you can obtain an associates, see if you are able to enroll in an EMT course, (that can be difficult if assigned to a ship) but knock out as much gen ed as you can. Also look to the local Navy Campus and take advantage of CLEP and DANTES tests. You can knock out many college credits without having to take a single class. Good luck to you.
    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.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Navy Firefighter
    By NavyABH17011 in forum Meet and Greet
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-24-2009, 05:45 PM
  2. Lakehurst Navy Civillian firefighter
    By nozzlenut264 in forum Federal & Military Firehouse Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-09-2007, 06:33 AM
  3. Need advice on how exactly I should go about becoming a firefighter.
    By ArkansasRyan in forum Probie House: The Place for Newbies
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-20-2007, 05:53 PM
  4. NAVY YARD Philadelphia Fire & Emergency Services. Firefighter/EMT JOB
    By DODfederalONE in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-01-2004, 11:59 PM
  5. Navy Firefighter
    By Navyfire in forum Meet and Greet
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-10-2001, 09:38 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts