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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Possible Move to Florida- How easy? Current career FF


    I'm currently a career Firefighter/paramedic in a suburb of 60,000 just outside Chicago. I've been career for 4 years and part-time for two before that.

    I hold the following certificates:

    IL firefighter 3
    Fire Apparatus Engineer
    Public Safety Diver
    Fire Investigator
    Rope Operations
    IL Paramedic License

    I also have experience in both public and private fire investigation, investigating close to 100 fires a year in and around Chicago. I understand it's possible to take a test to get my Florida firefighter certificate. I'll also be looking to get my national registry paramedic license. What's the job market like? We'd like to move to the southern part of the state, gulf or atlantic side doesn't matter.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2009


    From what I have seen, which you may already know, any certs from other states most likely won't transfer to FL, you can try it. I think FL does not recognize the NR.

    As for jobs, depends on which area you are wanting to move to, if you open to anyplace, then you should be pretty good with at least testing at a place. You may need to be open in driving 1-2 hours from where you live if you are set on 1 place to live.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    Challenging the State of Florida Fire Standards is a very tedious process and I have not known personally or heard of many people successfully getting the OK to challenge the test. Florida is very picky about who they let in to test based on the hours and education requirements that meet Florida Standards.

    I have on the other hand hear often that people outside of Florida just go through Florida Standards because its easier than having to deal with the crap involved in getting reciprocity.

    As far as National Registry, yes you will need it then just challenge Florida and you should be fine.

    Ok ready for the bad news?

    Just to give you some insight on job outlook here:

    Palm Beach County about 7 months ago had I believe 20 positions and over 2000 people applied for them and they were actually having campers outside to get their apps in. Over 400 people applied for 15 positions at my dept in December. You can look at anywhere around 400-500 apps for one position at any given time. Right now hardly anyone is hiring. You do have an advantage with your experience and education. But unfortunately it only goes so far because the job market is HORRIBLE right now.. Your best bet is to wait till the economy gets better. And you mention Southern part of the state...let me tell you that is the WORST area for job outlook...
    Last edited by firemedic80; 07-14-2009 at 04:41 PM.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Thanks for the reply, my girlfriend and I are planning this for spring/summer of 2011 so *hopefully* the economy is a bit better, she'll be making the move with a freshly earned MSN so at least we'll have some income during the process.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004


    My suggestion would be to contact the State Fire College in Ocala and see what training hours you would need to document in order to challenge the exam.
    The firefighter 2 certification is what you are looking to challenge. This is not an easy process, but worth a try.

  6. #6
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999


    Quote Originally Posted by kjohn23 View Post
    My suggestion would be to contact the State Fire College in Ocala and see what training hours you would need to document in order to challenge the exam.
    The firefighter 2 certification is what you are looking to challenge. This is not an easy process, but worth a try.

    Outstanding advice. Not many jobs are open in Florida right now. A lot of people competing for just a few jobs.

    It is very hard to used any cert and challenge Florida standards. It would be better to take the whole course and knowing what you have now in ILL wouold be of help to you.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Sunny South Florida


    With the economy still in a tailspin and most depts talking about layoffs, now is NOT the time to come down here unless your girlfriend will be able to support you for a long time. You will have to repeat fire school, and you can challenge the state EMT and medic. Schools have openings all the time so getting into a fire school should be easy. The biggest problem your going to have is getting a job. You will be competing against THOUSANDS of certified FF/PMs for the handful of jobs out there. Someone else mentioned th 2000 people for 20 jobs in Boynton Beach(not the county), that is the reality of things here. The city of Riviera Beach here in Palm Beach County is laying off 22 guys, thats about an entire shift there! I spoke to a medic student the other day who was driving up to the Panhandle for an interview because that was the closest opening he could find. My advise is to wait a little and see what happens with the job market here before you leave you current job.
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.


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