1. #1

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    Default Fire Academy Graduate hire Rate

    Hi,

    I am doing some research for my husband since we are paying to put him through the Extended Fire Academy, hopefully this summer. I'm curious as to what the average percent of graduates that are hired right out of the academy. We are located in Northern California if that helps, and he is open to any department located anywhere within a 3 hour radius. He has taken the EMT-B class thus far, however he has not passed the NREMT exam. Also, if you have any advice to offer as to what order to do things in, that would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, we dont have the room financially for him to become a Paramedic first since we can't afford for him to work as an EMT (we own and are upsidedown in our house).

    Thank you in advance for all your help!

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    ****************
    Last edited by MrsOMordha; 04-29-2009 at 07:57 PM.

  3. #3
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    I'm curious to see if anyone has an answer for this.

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    I'd say go to school instead and work on the side if ur upside down

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    Training is good, but like everyone else, he needs to be able to pass written tests and oral interviews for departments.

    If he persists and actively looks for a job, I am sure he will get hired. As far as a timeline, that is uncertain.

  6. #6
    John 15:13

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    I don't know that I have ever heard of anyone getting hired straight out of a state marshal certified academy on the west coast. This may happen more in the mid-west but I'm not sure.

    The reality is for any career firefighter job there is a fairly lengthy hiring process for any candidate that includes a written exam, oral interview(s), physical agility test, background investigation, and medical/psych evaluation. It just takes time...

    Having an academy under his belt will certainly help his resume and open more doors for him but, at the end of the day, he still needs to go through the lengthy process outlined above.

    It looks like your husband is doing the right things but getting this job... accomplishing this dream... takes a lot of dedication, patience, and time.

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    Having an academy will greatly help his chances and he will be able to apply to a bigger variety of departments. It is definitely worth it however having a job on the side can be tricky. Do what you can. Unfortunately, I am in southern CA..so am not too sure about northern CA.. Getting hired definitely takes time.. some people a year.. some people 10 years. He needs to pass the national registry too. It is very hard to get hired if don't have an EMT cert on hand. Paramedic school will allow him to apply to even more departments.. however that is down the road so lets not focus on that just yet.

    My 2 cents.. finish the academy.. continue to work hard and buy a book or 2 from amazon or barnes and noble on passing the national registry for EMTs. Having an academy completion and EMT is big.

    Hope this helps..

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    Having an academy, or a degree is not a requirement to take the test for most departments. Some fire/medic postions can required an academy.

    It sure doesn't hurt having an academy on your resume and being able to present it in an oral board. It will give the panel confidence that you have had hands on experience they can take a chance on.

    But just because you have an academy doesn't mean you're ready for fire department academy. Check out this previous posting:
    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=107077

    And you have to broaden your horizons in testing more than 3 hours away from home.

    I live near SF and would be happy to talk with you further.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

  9. #9
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    Though it is competitive everywhere, Northern California is an extremely competitive place to get a fire job, so you need to build up an arsenal of as many certifications as you can. But, on the flipside you have to remember that for all the certs you can have, there is someone that will have the exact same certs. This is where the testing and interview process comes in - including making other "life experience" relevant.

    However, I am going to be brutally honest with you - the pursuit of a fire job can be significantly hindered if you can't make the financial sacrifices that are often the result of having to take lower-paying EMT, volunteer, and unpaid internship roles to get the necessary experience that departments look for and often require. This is something VERY important to consider as the process can take years, even for some of the best candidates. I have had several friends that had to give-up on the process due to their financial responsibilities or pursue other less-competitive lines of work. Not trying to put a damper on any dreams, but the reality of getting a firefighter job is that for most people it requires not only sacrifices of the person, but of their finances as well. Just make sure you're aware of this and make an honest assessment of if this is really feasible right now.

    As for the paramedic license, this is extremely beneficial to have in Northern California. I initially went after my paramedic license because my dream department only hired fire-medics (Hayward). Though I didn't end-up getting hired there, that p-card was my "golden ticket". Not only are there often more openings for paramedics, but the competitive pool is much smaller than that of EMT's. So, ultimately you increase the number of opportunities and decrease the number of competitors - much better odds. Plus, you can make a decent living as a paramedic on the private ambulance while you still pursue a fire job. You then combine your FF1 academy, a p-card, and maybe some time as a reserve/volunteer firefighter and you have helped your chances immensely. Again, paramedic school takes a TREMENDOUS sacrifice of the person both mentally, physically, and financially. Tuition can cost anywhere from $4,000 (at a JC) to $12,000 (at NCTI, EMSTI, etc). Add that to the opportunity cost of time off work to study and intern over a year to a year and-a-half and the total cost can be upwards of $10,000 - $20,000.

    If a fire service career is truly your dream, you will find a way to make it all work, no matter what the cost.

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    MrsOMordha- Several important thoughts-

    -No one gets a job right out of an academy.

    -The hire ratio was 100 applicants to 1 job opening. With the economy the way it is, the jobs have been more rare and the CA Firefighter academies keep pumping out more Candidates looking for jobs. No doubt, the #s have gone up.

    -As mentioned above, be prepared for the very long road ahead of testing, traveling, flying, car rentals, resumes, classes, volunteering, phoning, faxing, Kinkos runs, printing, networking, buying a suit, interviewing, waiting for results, disappointment, hope, keeping your chin up. I don't mean to sound negative, but I have done it with hundreds of other candidates up and down the state.

    -Consider applying for a federal Firefighter job. They are hiring, but pay low and work longer hours. Its how most of us got our start. And dont focus only on the CA jobs. You can go out of state, work and then transfer back in.

    Lastly- Testing in California is unique and you are going to get answers here in a national forum that might not be relative to our state. It is different here than in the other parts of the country. I say this because I don't want to see you get some bum information. (ie- ProBoard and IFSAC certs, etc...)

    You can get more local and specific information over at www.californiafirefighter.com

    Good luck and Private Message me or the other Cali. people if you have any other questions. I live in Nor. Cal. too and willing to help if needed.

    Bou

    PS- We all started at the bottom, here is a start- CONSERVATIONIST I, CALIFORNIA CONSERVATION CORPS
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 04-22-2009 at 05:48 AM.

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    Doesn't sound like he is too motivated to get a job. If he was concerned he would be on here asking these questions. I bet she fills out his applications for him too!

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    Check out www.usajobs.gov. There are openings across the country for certified FF2's. The starting pay is typically low, and the schedules are less than desireable. Ft. Belvoir in Va does 48/72, others do 24 on, 24 off for three shifts, then only 48 off until the next tour. Your husband could do some per diem emt work on his days off, or work as an ER tech(NY 15-23/hr, Va 12-16/hr). BLS instructors earn about 20-25/hr in NoVa. I would imagine that these numbers would be comparable in N. Cali. If he enjoys EMS, I highly recommend pursuing a paramedic cert. It opens many doors, as well as the opportunity to qualify for the excelsior college EMT-P to RN online associates degree program. Per diem nurses are compensated quite well. Firemedics with one year on at my dept are earning approx. 67,000/yr including incentives and such, before OT. The medic cert will open up many opportunities for your husband, if he would enjoy the work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    Check out www.usajobs.gov. Your husband could do some per diem emt work on his days off, or work as an ER tech(NY 15-23/hr, Va 12-16/hr). BLS instructors earn about 20-25/hr in NoVa. I would imagine that these numbers would be comparable in N. Cali. If he enjoys EMS, I highly recommend pursuing a paramedic cert. It opens many doors, as well as the opportunity to qualify for the excelsior college EMT-P to RN online associates degree program. Per diem nurses are compensated quite well. Firemedics with one year on at my dept are earning approx. 67,000/yr including incentives and such, before OT. The medic cert will open up many opportunities for your husband, if he would enjoy the work.
    edpmedic brings-up some additional good options here. There are other jobs to do once you have your EMT with ER Tech probably being the highest paying for an EMT cert ($20 - 27/hr in NorCal, but our cost of living is much higher than average in most places).

    And like he said, only get your p-card if you enjoy EMS and actually like working as a paramedic - not just to get a job.

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    Hey guys, thank you very much for responding to my wife's questions. Your instruction and advice is very much appreciated. I'll be honest, in the past two years I have not applied myself as I should in order to achieve my dream... Currently, trying to change that around...

    It appears that the most of you do not suggest going through the academy as a way of getting hired, rather you suggest getting experience as an EMT. Is that a correct assumption or at least a more proven method?

    The academy appealed to me originally just for the fact that it would get me some experience and add to my resume... at this point I do not have anything but real life experience and job experience in a field that doesn't really help me out any.

    A federal firefighter position is something I am highly considering... I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions on how to make myself stand out in the application process in spite of my lack of experience. Also, since I missed a chance at this upcoming fire season, what are some things that you suggest doing that would make me appeal to such an agency come next year?


    Thanks guys.

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