1. #1

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    Default UK Firefighter wanting to emigrate to USA.

    Hello All,

    I am a full time firefighter in the United Kingdom for one of the busiest fire services in the Uk. I have been a firefighter for 6 years, but in the next couple of years I am planning on emigrating to the US.

    I am an American citizen, holding a US passport...was born in California, with an American father but have lived in the UK since the age of 2. I still visit family in CA regularly and still very much class myself as American.

    Anyway, I am at the point now where I am planning and researching what I can do in terms of becoming a Firefighter in the USA.

    I am wondering whether my by then 7-8 years experience will count for anything, or is it likely that I will have to start from scratch and go through the application process like everybody else?

    Obviously I wouldn't expect to straight transfer across, I just have no idea what the process would be.

    I really am at the beginning of my research, and this is my first port of call, and first contact with anybody about this, so if anybody could give me any pointers or information about what my first steps should be, who I should contact, what I should expect, it would be very much appreciated.

    My family are based in Orange County, and I would be moving to somewhere around that area. So possible Departments for me would be Orange County, Long Beach, and LA.

    I know this is a very long post, but if anyone has read the whole thing..thanks for reading.

    Paul

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    Paul,

    You would still have to take the written test, go through the interview process, and probably an academy. You experience will definately help you and put you ahead of the curve during your interview. OCFA, LAFD, LACounty, and other large CA departments all have their own academy that every new hire must get through, no matter their previous experience. OCFA hires lateral paramedics every couple of years, but you need two years (I think) experience at a CA department to qualify.

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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishAmerican View Post
    My family are based in Orange County, and I would be moving to somewhere around that area. So possible Departments for me would be Orange County, Long Beach, and LA.
    Your experience will definitely help, but unfortunately experience doesn't help the economy. OCFA, LBFD, LAFD have all pretty much halted their hiring.

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    Laugh. Back of the line buddy.

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    Paul- Lots of Candidates and no jobs in CA. Your previous experience is nice, but wont help you here. If you come over, you will be starting at the very bottom with no special treatment.

    Sorry.

    Get more info at- www.californiafirefighter.com

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the replies, guys. So looks like I would be moving over, working some other job while starting at the bottom and applying to join the fire service.

    How long 'usually' is the application process? Reason I ask is because our fire service allows individuals to take a career break/sabbatical, for a year. So I could always do this, move over and try to get in, while keeping my job open if things don't work out.

    But TBH, I would still move to the US even if I couldn't get in...would just be hard to leave a career as a firefighter for good.

    Thanks again.

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    I'm on the east coast and can't speak for california, but here in the DC area, it seems that most counties take anywhere from 4 months (very few) to 1 year to complete the whole hiring process. Everywhere I've applied does not allow lateral transfers and everyone, despite experience, has to start at the beginning. I actually spoke with someone in county a few minutes up the road - they hired a guy who had recently RETIRED from another county (wanted to get back in the field instead of a desk job). He was in his early 50's if I remember correctly and had over 20 years experience. He had to start from scratch, go through all the testing, and go through the academy all over again. Mad props to that guy! Anyways, just sayin that out here, it appears they are all about the competitive process - makin you prove yourself instead of relying on your resume, but like the other guys say, I'm sure your experience will help you out immensely in the interviewing process. Good luck.

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    Also remember that CA wants FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDICS mostly and the competition is serious in that arena as well.

    I just want to be honest here and upfront, you and THOUSANDS of people in front of you with FF1, EMT and experience in hand in California. The Fireman factories keep pumping out Candidates with no jobs here. To be very blunt- The mindset of "If you want it bad enough, it will happen!" is not reality. Its just a bad scene here and I think someone should be honest with you before you make plans and jump through a lot of hoops.

    There are some NON-MEDIC FF jobs with the Feds, statewide. I also recommend www.californiafirefighter.com. We finally got a wesbite.

    Please hit me back if you have any questions...Bou



    Current Firefighter jobs in California-

    Firefighter/Paramedic- Loma Linda, CA +4 locations 6,524/monthly Description A Firefighter Paramedic is responsible for a wide... equipment maintenance, and other related and/or assigned duties. Firefighter/Paramedics must be able to perform heavy manual labor, work outdoors in varying...
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    Murrieta, CA Paramedic with a public or private health care provider. Lateral: Minimum of one (1) year experience as a Paramedic/Firefighter with a California municipal or... Registry Paramedic certification or a California State Paramedic Certification...
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    Lateral Firefighter Paramedic
    Montebello, CA On Going Description Under general supervision, the Firefighter/Paramedic responds to fire alarms and other related requests for emergency assistance;... must obtain: Los Angeles County Paramedic accreditation First Responder...
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    Paramedic/Firefighter Lateral/Entry Level
    El Cajon, CA of California Paramedic Certification program (include proof of enrollment and graduation date with application). County of San Diego Paramedic Accreditation... full-time Firefighter in a suppression position OR completion of a Firefighter I... $58,269 - $71,024 a year
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    FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDIC - LATERAL
    City of Fountain Valley - Fountain Valley, CA January 12, 2009 may be considered for a subsequent round of interviews, if necessary. CLASS DEFINITION A Firefighter assigned to Paramedic responds to fire alarms and other emergency medical calls providing basic and advanced medical aide...
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    Firefighter/Paramedic
    City of Riverside - California in the process of hiring Firefighter/Paramedics and the establishment of an... a valid Paramedic Certification (Riverside County) is highly desirable. Possession of a valid State of California Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (EMT-P...
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    Firefighter/Paramedic
    Rialto Fire Dept - Rialto, CA fire service experience to qualify for Firefighter I Certification. Must possess and maintain a current State license as a paramedic. Possession of or ability to obtain accreditation as a paramedic in ICEMA Region; must provide proof of...
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    Firefighter/Paramedic
    San Gabriel, CA and memoranda. In addition, Firefighters (with Paramedic Certification), are... State Fire Marshal Firefighter 1 certification; proof of enrollment and in good standing or completion of a California State approved paramedic training program...

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDIC - LATERAL ENTRY
    City of Vista - Vista, CA DEFINITION Under general supervision, to provide immediate emergency medical care for the sick and injured at emergency scenes and during transportation to a hospital; to perform the duties of firefighter; and to perform related work as...
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    FIRE FIGHTER II/PARAMEDIC - LATERAL
    City of Pasadena - Pasadena, CA MUST APPLY ONLINE . The Lateral Fire Fighter II/Paramedic is a journey level professional position. (Must currently be employed as a Firefighter/Paramedic.)
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    Fire Fighter II/Paramedic
    Pasadena, CA Description A Fire Fighter ll/Paramedic, performs the full range of fire... time paid/non-probationary Firefighter II /Paramedic with at least 18 months experience as a firefighter or 18 months of combined firefighter/trainee experience...
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    Firefighter/Paramedic
    City of Upland - Upland, CA CITY OF UPLAND FIREFIGHTER (PARAMEDIC ASSIGNMENT) $5079 - $6173 /mo. + 15% of FF top step CalPERS retirement (3% @ 55) Employee pays 5.8% of salary for CalPERS... Certification. San Bernardino County Paramedic Accreditation is required at time...
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    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 07-29-2009 at 11:22 AM.

  9. #9

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    Many thanks for the advice, and I appreciate your honesty and being up front with me.

    It's beginning to look to me like a change of career might be my only option when I finally move over.

    After being a firefighter, it will be hard to switch to civilian life...but I guess I have to decide what I want to be doing...the job I love, or being in the place I love.

    I won't give up trying, though...even if my chances are slim of getting a job.

    Thanks again.

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