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Thread: Special Teams

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    Default Special Teams

    Hi guys. As if getting hired on a career department is not hard enough, I was curious how hard it would be to get assigned to a fireboat, rapid intervention team, hazmat team, etc.. within your department? If a probie fresh out of the academy expresses interest in one of these specialty sectors, would he/she be given a shot? Or is it reserved for the members that have been on the job awhile? I am asking because the department I am applying for, and will hopefully get picked up by, has a number of very interesting special teams and I think I would be interested. I have all that I can handle getting prepped for the final phases of the hiring process, then hopefully be in the academy with my hands full. Should I am high out of the gate, or would I be better served going through the academy and putting a few years on my belt before I try to get on a special team. thanks guys


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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepmike611 View Post
    Hi guys. As if getting hired on a career department is not hard enough, I was curious how hard it would be to get assigned to a fireboat, rapid intervention team, hazmat team, etc.. within your department? If a probie fresh out of the academy expresses interest in one of these specialty sectors, would he/she be given a shot? Or is it reserved for the members that have been on the job awhile? I am asking because the department I am applying for, and will hopefully get picked up by, has a number of very interesting special teams and I think I would be interested. I have all that I can handle getting prepped for the final phases of the hiring process, then hopefully be in the academy with my hands full. Should I am high out of the gate, or would I be better served going through the academy and putting a few years on my belt before I try to get on a special team. thanks guys



    Generally speaking, you may never be assigned to the fireboat(s), until you have maybe 20 years or so on the job.

    A Firefighter On Probation, [FFOP] usually gets assigned to a very active company that makes a lot of various jobs.

    A FFOP doesn't get to choose their assignment and are put in companies that will intensify and advance their training for the first year and so on.

    Companies are assigned as RIT is by the order there are on the box. That isn't some special operations that one may get into.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    Forum Member TNFF319's Avatar
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    It depends on the department. Have you talked to the special ops guys? I wouldn't be making big plans until I was offered a job. It is pretty difficult to get hired. I would doubt a probie could be special ops. If you have the required training, you could make a request once you got off probation. I know a gut who was riding special ops 2 years out of the academy.
    FF/Paramedic

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    I was in the same boat as you. I am young (22) and have right at 5 years on the job. My first 2-3 years I didn't persue any specialty teams in my department or region. I spent that time learning my job assignment (driver/operator). In the last 2 years I have become a member of both the department hazmat team as well as the regional USAR team.

    That being said, here is my advice: spend your first few years knowing EVERYTHING about what your job assignment is. If it is riding tailboard, know everything you can about fire behavior, correct nozzle control, reading smoke, etc. If it is being a driver operator, know everything about hydraulics, pumping, and your apparatus. No matter what, know your truck and the equipment you carry. Once you feel like you have the basics mastered, look into the advanced assignments.

    None of us know everything. But learn as much as you can about your job. There is always something to learn, but know as much before hand as possible. There is nothing worse than a (specialty team insert here) guru that cant even get you water out of the truck.
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    Cool Special Teams

    My favs. have always been the Kick-off Team, Punt Team and Goal Line Defense..... LOL.

    As far as the FD Special Assignments; do your time, focus on probation, continually seek training and advance yourself, find out which Assignment/Team you want to get onto and talk to the Members that are on that Team currently and pick their brains.

    Hope this helps...
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    Its hard to say how it works where you are, but here is how it works where I am, Once you are threw probie school (the academy) you spend the first six months assigned to an engine company, the next six months assigned to a truck company, after that you get you permanent assignment. All of our spec. ops are run out of specially designated firehouses. My station runs the Heavy Rescue and a Truck Company with the Haz-Mat Team and Tech Rescue units detailed to us. The best advice i can give is to get threw school, get on the rig and learn how to be a good firefighter before you worry about any spec. ops stuff. Once you have got that and have proven yourself you can move onto the more "technical" stuff and get transferred into one of the teams. Stay safe brothers.

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    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Focus on getting through your probationary year and keeping your job. Then, once you have the job, work on the extras.

    Is RIT a special unit assignment anywhere? It is usually the third in engine for us.
    ~Drew
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    'course it would also help to be in a town that isn't land-locked.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    Focus on getting through your probationary year and keeping your job. Then, once you have the job, work on the extras.

    Is RIT a special unit assignment anywhere? It is usually the third in engine for us.
    RIT is not a specialized unit where I am but it is designated to the second truck company on a single alarm, 2nd or 3rd alarm, the second rescue truck in the city makes an additional RIT team, anything greater than that we call in mutual aid for RIT teams, those guys love coming to our "big" jobs and standing around watching lol

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