1. #1
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    Default Interested, have questions.

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    Last edited by wlgorman; 07-06-2011 at 11:12 AM.

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    As for pay, you'd have to check and see what depts make in the area you'd like to work. I assume you're still in the DFW area. This has its pros and cons. Pro: Metro area depts usually make more than rural depts due to the cost of living. Con: There are usually an insane number of applicants for each position.

    Check into ALL the depts in your area. I'm not sure what TX does, but there are many departments out there that will hire an excellent candidate that has what they are looking for in a FF and THEN send him to the academy, while paying for everything and paying his salary. It sounds like this would be the cat's meow for your situation. It will take some research to find out which, if any, depts near you will do this. Apply at any dept like this, even if it's not your dream dept. Get hired, get your certs, get some experience and if you're not happy after a year or two, then you've got your certs to apply to the depts that require you to be fully trained. Do you want the job bad enough to relocate? Look outside the area for other opportunities and increase your chances. Take every test you can and work on your oral interview since it's usually what 100% of your ranking is based.

    Another option is to check in with the local community colleges about their academy classes. Many will offer a full time academy that takes a semester, but they might also offer one that meets once or twice a night each week and then on Saturday for a longer period of time. Not all offer this option, but you might luck out.

    Another option, which I don't know much about except that it exists, is becoming a private firefighter in the oil industry. With your background, that might help in hiring, but I have no idea how their requirements different, pay, shifts, training, etc.

    Whatever option you choose, be prepared for it to consume your life while you're in the academy. I went through an academy full time sponsored by my dept and I was up each morning before 5, academy was from 7:30-4:30, then I'd ready, prep and study until 10 each night. Make sure your family understands this FULLY before you start. It will be tough, but the outcome is the best job in the world.

    As for scheduling, each department is different. The most common schedule is 24 on/ 48 off, but there are lots of variances. Good news is that usually after your probation is over, there's usually a substantial pay raise. If you have to, with your days off, you can work a second job, but I'd wait to commit to that until you're off probation. Eventually, if it interests you, look into becoming a paramedic. It usually greatly increases your chances of being hired and also includes a pay raise. Many depts will pay for some or all of medic school, too.

    Good luck.

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    I was in the same situation minus the family to support. I started when I was about 24. I went to a local community college to obtain my FF and EMT certs. It was a few times a night and it allowed me to work full time. I would guess your average salary in a smaller communities would be in the 40's. I hope this helps.

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    I would look into some of the cities in your area that are paid and speak with them.. Most paid depts will hire you with no experience or certs and pay you to go to the academy. this way you still get money for your family and can pursue your family tradition.

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    check this site weekly

    http://www.tcfp.state.tx.us/employment.asp


    and it will give you an idea of pay and certifications needed if you want to stay in texas, also some cities will send you through all the training, just not sure which cities down in your area.


    also, are willing to move in texas?????

    check the city of san antonio web today, they are taking applications soon if not today, and they do thier own training.

    most cities want tx firefighter certification, and emt of some level


    there are a couple of online places, you do the book work then spend a solid week or two doing hand on


    http://www.trainingdivision.com/Academy.asp

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    ..........
    Last edited by wlgorman; 07-06-2011 at 11:12 AM.

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    If you can't relocate, then check with every department within commuting distance. Also check as many departments have some kind of residency requirement. In my area, you must live either in county, or a bordering county. In some areas, you might have to live within an hour commute in case you get called in. This can vary from departments, just as cert requirements. Check with them ALL!

    Ideally you'll find a dept that will pay you while you're in the academy. As mentioned above, there are online academies. I'd be concerned about losing out on the hands on training.

    Something else I thought of since I last posted... This will be a long road, but it might work out as another option. A lot of volunteer departments will take you on with no training. Then they *might* offer FF1 classes over many months. Good thing is these are usually in the evenings and weekends. Also, you only might have to pay for the books (less than $100). If you decide to go this route, be upfront with them. Also explain that when you get hired full time, you will still try to meet their volunteer requirements around your schedule.

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    Last edited by wlgorman; 07-06-2011 at 11:12 AM.

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    about the only cities that take you off the street are dallas and fort worth. fort worth just tested, you might check dallas, but they are so far in the hole money wise that they may not hire for awhile.

    yes most of the cities around dfw require you to be certified and most want paramedic.

    once again this place you do the book work then spend a week or two with them for the training and to prep you for the state test. this is the easiest way if you can study on your own:: call them they would be glad to talk to you and answer any questions.

    http://www.trainingdivision.com/Courses.asp



    another route to go is get paramedic cert and some departments will put you thorugh the firefighter portion

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    Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) wants to work for a career department. There are 1000's of applicants. I wish you the best. Check out trainingdivision.com. They're the best online school available and have a good reputation here in Texas.

    Take care.
    Pete

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    ..........
    Last edited by wlgorman; 07-06-2011 at 11:12 AM.

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    No, it's in Crowley Tx, just outside of DFW area. But their facilities are really nice and the instructors are great.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Pete

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    not sure if the tx state forest service does or not, check the tx fire chiefs assoc.

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    Hey wlgorman, I am in the same situation as you. Well I don’t have kids, but I went to college after high school and have been working in "corp America" (Houston) for about 4 years. I cannot stand it! I would love to wake up every morning and not dread going to work. I have always wanted to be a firefighter since I was a small kid, but I also wanted to go to college. While I was in my final semester in college I was looking into FD's in the Dallas area, but then I got offered a job making more money than I ever expected. Now I hate it, but cannot afford to drop everything and start taking classes hoping a FF job will come along. I am looking into the TCFP Basic Fire Fighter and an EMT-B through Houston Community College. They offer an online course for the book work and Saturday classes for the hands on training. It is about $1,800 plus $600 for the EMT-B. My wife is still in college here in Houston so I have a few years to take the courses. After that I also intend to look into the Dallas Metro/North Texas area for a job. Good luck and let me know how it is going.

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    Dude...I feel for you!! You're only 24 but I'm sure that job you have is sucking the life out of you. Chances are that if you don't make changes soon, what typically happens is people start unconsciously (or perhaps consciously) sabotaging their job. Either by their behavior, or they get burned out and under produce, start burning sick time....you know the drill!! You need a very comprehensive plan for positioning yourself to pursue this career. Now much has been said about what you can do in addition to your current circumstances, but nothing has been said about what you should be doing to CHANGE your current circumstances. BUT, a definite PLAN is needed. Don't sleep on this point either!! I mean it!!

    First and foremost, you want to work from a position of strength rather than a position of weakness. Let's take your financial situation for example. If you're so worried about the need to make a certain amount of money to make ends meet, then work on reducing your debt first. If your wife is going back to work (and it sounds like childcare is gonna be a piece of cake for you) then start reducing your debt a little at a time. Start with credit cards, and other small debt and then start trying to pay off or down some of the big ticket items (except your mortgage, if you have one). What this will do is take all the stress out of trying to test for a department because you're trying to get hired by one that makes the right amount of money to match the debt you've created for yourself. Also if you have credit problems, this is a great time to get that cleared up!! Because a lot of the BIG PREMIERE DEPARTMENTS definitely look at your credit!!

    Secondly, zzyyzx had a great idea!! Look for inside opportunities too. Are there jobs in your company that have positions like safety officers, fire brigades or emergency management workers that you can leverage through your present employer and at the same time be strengthening your position to apply for a much larger department?? Something to think about!!

    Thirdly, some people are looking online or to the virtual classroom for fire science classes, certifications, EMT and apparently, even Paramedic!! But an even better scenario that zzyyzx mentioned is testing for a department that has no requirements for any certs or anything, getting hired and having them pay you while you're in the academy or Paramedic training.

    Lastly bro, whatever you do, make sure the wife co-signs with you on it. You're gonna be busy!! If she's working and then coming home to take care of a 5 month old, she's gonna be busy! And if she can't get any help, the living room couch and you are gonna get to know each other real well!! Involve her with your decisions but most importantly have a P.L.A.N.!!!

    'The Axeman"
    _____________
    "Purpose, Truth and Passion Yields Power and Dominion IN ACTION!!!"
    Last edited by Theaxemancometh; 07-22-2010 at 12:58 AM.

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    check the texas forestry service, they use to give money for schools, but not sure anymore, with the state of tx economy

    also, check the requirements for grand priaire


    remember with all the departments in the dfw area, that you only work ten days a month, so if you have to drive 60 miles to work ten days a month that is not bad!!!!!!!!!!!! some of our guys drive from ten buck two


    I know one guy works for austin and lives in san antonio

    check the comm web site weekly, and that will tell you waht depts in the area are looking for.

    http://www.tcfp.state.tx.us/employment.asp

    also, check arlington, i think you have to be emt and they will put you through the fire side.


    also give dfw airport a call to see what they require to get hired

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    Last edited by wlgorman; 07-06-2011 at 11:13 AM.

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    """"""How 'hireable' will I be at this point?""""""

    keep looking at the requirements for different departments and you wiull answer you own question::::::::::::


    http://www.tcfp.state.tx.us/employment.asp

    check the site once a week

    no matter what academy a person goes through, to me it does not matter

    a person can be at the top of thier class and not make it on a department

    I hate to say it but the texas criteria is based on hours on different subjects, as long as the hours get put in and a person can make """" 70 """""
    on the state test they are a firefighter


    EMT is alittle different, you have to know the material.

    not sure how other departments work, but some a employed person may have just a little pull on getting someone in, on the one I work for you have to make a lot of people happy to get through the process, so not much "pull factor" around here.

    we do send out a list of people we are looking out to the shift looking for both good and bad reports, and we get both.

    as far as the academy, most departments have the real one once you are hired, in other words "this is how we do it"

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    If you take your classes at one of the local colleges you may be able to get student loans/grants. I had a guy in my rookie class that got his firefighter/emt from trainingdivision. You could do it either way, just go for it.

    Are you volunteering in Frisco? Not many paid/volunteer depts come to mind.

    Best of luck.

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