1. #1
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    Question I just graduated from a fire academy.

    I have allot of certs and state EMT but not national reg yet. Im looking for some advice to help me get off my feet in the fire service. Im not really sure where to start out, should i volunteer or apply for city and cal fire dpts? keeping in mind that i have no fire experience other than through my FF1 academy i feel like my chances of getting a job right out of the academy are slim to none. Any advice would be great. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    what state are you in

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    I would do EMS work for a while or join a volunteer fire dept. Probably the best thing you can do is get some EMS experience, say a year or two (many people will say more than that) and go to paramedic school. The fact is medics are getting jobs a lot faster than EMT's. Joining a volunteer dept would get you some great training and experience if you can find one that's fairly busy. Just my 2 cents. Good luck bro.

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    yes, get experience. remember ems is a large part of the business and you need to be good at it. volunteering is good to if it is a department that trains well and works hard. if you can find a place that will send you to more classes for more certs that just betters you.

    remember that in this job you are a life long learner so find a place that allows you to develope and better yourself.

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    Here is the plan I put together for my son in law. I think it might help point you in the right directon.

    Basic Fire Academy –
    The basic fire academy is required by MANY departments just to take the entry level exam. For the departments that do not require it, they normally hire people who have completed one excluding the following (paramedic, military experience, affirmative action goals)
    Palomar, Rio Hondo, Santa Ana, Oxnard, Miramar, Riverside, Crafton Hills all have academies. Each is certified by the California State Fire Marshall. Academies range from 12 – 16 weeks and run 0700 to 1700 M-F
    Requirements:
    o EMT
    o ***Fire Science courses
    o Biddle or CPAT physical agility exam
    o Medical exam

    *** Most academies require at least two fire science courses. The more you have, the better the chance of acceptance

    Reserve Firefighter
    o Must be a fire academy graduate
    o Work a specified number of shifts per month as the fourth person on a three person engine company (Santa Ana is the best, Downey, Santa Fe Springs, Vernon all have programs)

    EMT Experience
    o Full time job with benefits but minimal pay ($9.00 per hour). Working on an ambulance building hours toward paramedic school (must have 2080 hours as an EMT to apply). This experience will help greatly when it comes to completing your paramedic internship.


    Paramedic School
    Six months long and very comprehensive. Didactic - three months of classroom, one month clinical rotations in the emergency room, two months field internship (20) 24- hour shifts evaluation by a paramedic team. Schools include Paramedic training institute (PTI), Daniel Freeman Hospital (Inglewood), Saddleback (Orange County), Palomar (San Marcos), Southwestern (San Diego)
    o Must have 2080 hours as an EMT to apply
    o Anatomy and physiology
    o Medical terminology
    o Paramedic preparation course

    Your goal is to have your Bachelors degree, fire academy, and paramedic certification. When you have an opportunity to take an additional class, select one that meets the requirement for the fire academy, paramedic school, or CSULB
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

  6. #6
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    I would do both. Apply and get on a vol department. It can take several years in some cases from time of application to date of hire (chicago’s list was kept for like 10 years). So, if you apply today, but the time you get to the interview, you might be extremely qualified.

  7. #7
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    thanks everyone for the advice. As for volunteering for a dpt how would i go about do that? You can probably tell that i have NO experience in the fire service other than that 17 weeks of my academy that i completed, but it was the best 17 weeks of my life and im excited to start my career. Im just not sure how.

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