1. #1
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    Default Which Fire Department Would You Go With If In My Shoes??

    I Just finished two separate Fire Department recruitment's in my area. I am very happy to say that I was successful in both recruitment's. I studied and trained my butt off and I did a lot of interview prep., read books, did research online, and talked with many Firefighters. Some of you guys helped answer my questions on this forum as well and for that I thank you. With all the preparation and hard work everything came together and it all work out, I feel very privileged to be in this situation but it is a very tough decision for me to make. I was hoping I could get some of your opinions to help me make my final decision.

    I am from Newfoundland and will be offered a temporary Firefighter position after my medical results are in from SJRFD (St. John's Regional Fire Department). I was already offered a full-time permanent Firefighter position with CBSFD (Conception Bay South Fire Department) which I took.

    However I have not signed any papers yet and have not started with either department yet but I need to make a final decision very soon on what I am going to do.

    Here is the scoop on my job offers:

    SJRFD:

    - Big Fire Department (Capital City)
    - IAFF Union
    - Covers a population of approx. 150,000 people
    - Offering temporary Firefighter position, you go on a list and wait for full-time position to open up (will be anywhere between # 15-26 on the list depending on what number I pick)
    - You start at 38,000 a year, while on list no benefits or pension, all that won't kick in until you get a full-time position
    - Will be waiting on list likely between 3-5 years before I get on full-time
    - Once on full-time top of pay scale for Firefighter is 72,000 a year
    - Once I reach top pay scale this department makes great money but it will take me years to get to that top pay scale
    - My dream department (this department is SUPER hard to get into and I actually got in!)

    CBSFD:

    - Smaller (growing) Department
    - Cupe Union
    - Covers a population of approx. 25,000 people and rapidly growing town
    - Offering full-time permanent Firefighter position with full benefits and pension
    - You start at 45,000 a year, but that's it every firefighter makes the same in the firehall except stripes. But they are getting a new contract with a 20% raise on salary over 4 years which will put it up to 52,000 a year
    - Make more money/benefits/pension short term with this department but in the long run although with new contracts pay will continue to increase I will likely never make as much as SJRFD in the long run
    - Would also love to work for this department but it isn't my "dream department" right now

    The word on the street (Rumors) about both departments:

    SJRFD:

    - Will be taking on a new station in the next few years which will open up full-time positions
    - Salary will be increases even more for full-time firefighters (up to 80,000-90,000 a year!)
    - Chief of this department will be merging Fire Departments which includes CBSFD

    CBSFD:

    - Will be changing to a IAFF union or another better union
    - With increased town funding pay for Firefighters will be increasing, where CBS is the fastest growing town in Newfoundland right now
    - Will be merging with SJRFD in the future
    - Or will be merging with Holyrood or Paradise Departments

    I should also mention that I am young, I just turned 23 years old and I am still living with my fokes at the moment. So This enables me to stay at home for the first few years with either department and save money. Also I am a "go getter" and I want to get started in life as soon as possible, I would like to get a house in the next few years and start a mortgage. I also need to pay off my student loans and my new truck.

    All this being considered. If you were in my shoes which department would you pick? Any opinions, advice, thoughts, concerns, or help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again,


    Mark

  2. #2
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    CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    I would go with SJRFD as they seem to have a better chance for you to do what you have dream so hard for.

    Plus maybe better chances for promotions.
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    Default Dream Job

    I would choose your dream job. You only live once

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    I'd take Conception Bay South Fd.. It's a full time position. The other is a Temp position.. Temp, as in Temporary, meaning no guarantee that there will be a full time position at the end of the contract. If there is no full time position, you're back at square one with at least one department's bridge burned (the full time position which you had accepted earlier and changed your mind on.)

    just my .02

    -Damien

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    I've learned so far in life that taking the safe route and not going after your dreams or what you really want is the quickest way to unhappiness. If you go into the temporary position and bust your *** and do what you need to, there will be no doubt that you get a full time spot. Take the chance, it'll be worth it in the end.

    I had a similair situation when I was hired, both were full time positions but the dream job fell a little behind with their process and required a little tactful nudging from my end lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFurtman View Post
    I'd take Conception Bay South Fd.. It's a full time position. The other is a Temp position.. Temp, as in Temporary, meaning no guarantee that there will be a full time position at the end of the contract. If there is no full time position, you're back at square one with at least one department's bridge burned (the full time position which you had accepted earlier and changed your mind on.)

    just my .02

    -Damien
    Well it isn't really like that. I am guaranteed a full-time position with SJRFD eventually . It's just I will go on a list as a temporary while I am waiting for a full-time position but I am guaranteed one sooner or later. Hopefully I don't need to wait to many years...

    Thanks for your opinions everyone it really helps, anyone else?

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    If SJR is where you want to be AND you will, 100%, go from temp to full-time eventually, go for it. Since you're living at home, the pay isn't going to be that big of a deal since you don't have many expenses (probably). It will hurt your retiring a bit and possibly saving up to buy a home, but it sounds like you'll be happier.

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    Can you take the full time and work part time for the temp department, with the hope of getting picked up???

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    I was in a similar situation 26 years ago....I had a parttime gig with a PD(35 hours per week) and on the list for full time. I was asked if I wanted the full time job at the FD....I was also told that if the PD full time slot came up they would offer it to me(which they did). I took the FD and never looked back....even though the Cops make more money I decided that the Fire was the best fit for me.
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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts and opinions, anyone else like to add?

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    If your real name is Mark Kennedy, you better hope nobody from Conception Bay South Fire Department is reading this. You stated "Would also love to work for this department BUT IT ISN'T MY "DREAM DEPARTMENT" RIGHT NOW". If I was employed by this department, I'd be insulted by that statement. Theres probably a couple hundred other people out there who say this IS their dream department who'd love to be in your shoes. It's not wrong to think the way you are but I probably wouldn't think out loud on a public website with your name attached to it where this could get printed up and get passed around the department and rear its ugly head your first day on the job.
    For anyone who thinks I'm blowing this out of proportion, take out CBSFD and add your departments name there and have your department invest a few thousand dollars on this guy for a background, medical, and physc eval, issue new uniforms and turnouts,training supplies, and hourly wages, etc for a guy whos not 100% sold on your department and might bail. Good luck Mark !
    TheresOnlyone2

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    Personally, I'd have a hard time backing out of a verbal committment to take a position even though no papers had been signed.

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    My advice is to chase your dream. You won't go wrong with either pick, but if St. Johns is what you want chase it. One thing to be aware of is if you don't have benefits or pension until you go full time, make sure you get something (supplemental insurance) to cover yourself if you get hurt. Best of luck. I know I personally, and most of my department would not bear a grudge against someone taking a spot somewhere else. It's the nature of the business. I don't speak for everyone here I know, but just my personal feelings on the subject. Good luck.

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