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    Default California Fire Dept's

    Hey everybody, been testing for a while now and starting to feel like I'm losing my mind. A little background; Fire Academy graduate, EMT, and BS in Soc. Anybody have any advice on being a firefighter in California? I'll take any job at any pay. Even a part-time position (one 24 a week would be preferred). Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

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    Probably start on getting your paramedic license as soon as possible, that's really the one thing thats gonna seperate you from the crowd

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    Check out Hermosa Beach Fire. They are hiring for a reserve firefighter, and it is the one 24 a week you are looking for.

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    Any where out of state that needs firefighter's badly? I'll go any where? I just want to fight fires as a full-time firefighter or firefighter/emt. Will go any where? I just want to be a firefighter. My ol' man is sick and I want to show him before he goes that his son got the badge. Anything helps

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    Your not alone. A great many highly qualified candidates do not make it, so your surely not alone. Salt on the wound is the flaws in the hiring system.

    Link to another thread- http://www.firehouse.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112666 (Are you sick of waiting??)

    Good luck with you and your ole' man. I have a feeling the badge I put on will not be fire service-- federal LEO has a much better Merit based hiring system along with better odds.

    Golden ticket- Medic/EMT-P
    Also, like previously mentioned put your academy to use and go reserve. Once as reservist-- HARD CHARGE!! Do not be that mediocre reservist.

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    Any where in Nevada to get hired? I still want to be some what near California. I'd rather just be a fire/emt. My heart is not completely into being a medic. Which states hire ff's without having a million applicants or the need of a medic license?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnySF View Post
    Any where in Nevada to get hired? I still want to be some what near California. I'd rather just be a fire/emt. My heart is not completely into being a medic. Which states hire ff's without having a million applicants or the need of a medic license?
    The ones that are mostly volunteer is my guess (without millions of applicants). I have gone as far as Washington state and it seems that anywhere it is a decently paid job (or hell paid in general/not volunteer) there is a line around the city.

    I give you props for taking the "high road" and realizing you don't want to be a medic.

    I worked with a lot of medics that IMO obviously became one either to get hired or were forced to after hire-- needed a huge recirt in patient advocacy. You make the medics proud, that hate how that profession has been cheapened by the wave of wanna-be FFs that can care less about EMT-P, they just want in the station period.

    But it is a sucky fact, especially with over 95% medical calls, departments are only going to get more medically centric. IMO it shouldn't be called Firefighter/Medic, but Medic/Firefighter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnySF View Post
    Any where in Nevada to get hired? I still want to be some what near California. I'd rather just be a fire/emt. My heart is not completely into being a medic. Which states hire ff's without having a million applicants or the need of a medic license?
    Although your chances would be better if you were a medic, there are a couple of states to the North of you that hire EMT Basics. There are lots of Californians here....you'd fit right in.

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    What I can tell you is that there are few volunteer operations in the southern California area. That's not a referendum on "volies", it's just that most of southern California's areas are highly populated urban areas and most of the departments here are paid professional departments. That said; there are a number of departments that have reserve or auxiliary programs. Many of these programs require graduates from IFSTA certified academies (local academies) before you go through the application/testing process, which is every bit similar to applying for a regular firefighter position. Like a regular firefighter process, you then go onto an eligibility list until you're hired. Reserve firefighters generally work 24 hour shifts, once a week as an extra member of an engine of truck company. Most of the departments that have reserve programs draw from their reserve force for full-time firefighter; although this is not always the case! If you're a buffoon as a reserve firefighter then...well you know the rest!!

    My recommendation is decide which area you plan to relocate to and start using the internet and this forum to zero in on those areas. Call those respective departments in the area you want to relocate and determine if they'll accept your out of state academy or not. Your EMT , if it's National Registry, shouldn't be hard to challenge for local accreditation. Good Luck!!

    "The Axeman"
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    "Purpose, Truth and Passion Yields POWER AND DOMINION IN ACTION!!!"

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    Starting to think that I'm basically screwed. Any dept in the US need firefighters or ff/emt's badly (with good odds of getting hired). Thanks

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    I know its not the answer you were looking for, but if I were any more real about how this really works the thread would be locked. Hell I was empirical and level headed in another forum about this subject and it got locked. Short of a reality TV show or Oprah there isn't going to be an open forum and general public understanding about the reality of this hiring process and all the good people skipped over by BS.

    Hell even if there wasn't corruption, being the 1 out of 100 is pretty crazy, thats crazier odds than passing BUD/S- now combine that merit isn't completely part of the system and its even crazier odds than BUD/S.

    Simply put, it should be a crime how many AS degree programs are out there, and the private EMT programs out there and all that other 'ish that puts a pie in the sky for so many for job that isn't attainable.

    Your just another of many. I wish you the best in your endevours. A lot of us are victom to that Academy or JC AS program retired Chief stringing us on. Good thing I have the military reserves to fall back on when I need money, many others are not nearly as furtunate.

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    Thanks for the help everybody. Maybe I'll get into teaching. Hey, atleast I'll get summers off. Anybody think of any job that's in demand now? Maybe I can even put my BS (Sociology) to use, which I'm starting to think was a waste, too. Thanks again

    -Jonny

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    You want to talk about useless degrees? I have a BS in Fire Protection Administration and Technology-- if I could get $1 for everytime someone asks, "they have that?!?" I wouldn't be looking for a job LOL. Honestly has to be the most worthless degree from an accredited, physical location college- ever- unless you are already IN the fireservice. Makes my odds of getting hired increase by ZERO, makes law enforcement look at me as a fire burn-out so infact it hurts my chances with federal and local LEO. In the military reserves I have to have a Masters to get a commission (Navy, apperantly no the case with the Army-- might go green eventually), so the only use this BS has is if I go active duty, were we enlisted joked that all one had to do to become an officer is get a degree in basket weaving-- maybe even that is better than my degree LOL.

    You did good with a back-up degree that is not totally fire related. I fell into the "get more and more fire stuff one" stupid advice, rather than what I should have done and get a BS that will get me a job, follow a solid 'plan B' path for the 99% chance of not getting hired.

    AS degree in fire is as far as one should go, academy even more important (which blows my mind there isn't a military credit write-off for this for cities that require it, that as a vet it still looks bad that I haven't gone to one, and that I know ex Marines and even a SEAL go to one for this fact, is just rediculous to me), and EMT-P even more so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnySF View Post
    Starting to think that I'm basically screwed. Any dept in the US need firefighters or ff/emt's badly (with good odds of getting hired). Thanks
    I'm a paid guy working in the Southeast. If you are really thinking of leaving your state for a paid FF job, you know you have to see if they will allow you to challenge your state certification with another state's to accept it. This will allow you to avoid going through that state's fire training academy. Same goes for your CA EMT license.

    I understand you prefer the firefighting over EMS. Unfortunately, and I know you've heard this many times before, EMS is the pathway that all Fire Agencies are going -
    to justify their existance. 9 out of 10 calls are EMS.

    Here in the Southeast and all over the country, more FDs prefer hiring medics over EMTs and the trend WILL continue. If you want to be in the Fire Service now, you gonna have to get your medic to increase your chances in getting hired.

    Good Luck!

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    Come to the East. Many fire departments have no minimum requirements as far as certs go. But your EMT-P cert is the key to the city. You just got to apply, apply, apply, apply. It'll come through some day. On the east coast there aren't as many metropolitan areas, just several large cities.

    If you got those certs (Esp EMT-B) you, that's a good shot here. But it seems with several departments its just random selection. I know a guy who got interviewed for a dept over me. He has no training, no post-secondary education. Where I have numerous certs, a BS in Safety & Fire Science, and I didn't even get chosen for a background interview.

    But I digress... with those certs, you've got a good chance. Just not maybe on the left coast lol. But do as I do... try, try, try, and pray, pray, pray.

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    Thanks for the comments/help everybody, but I know what I have to do. Be the best damn paramedic I can be. I'm not going to quit. If I spend the rest of my career as a medic so be it. I tried. Thanks again everyone.

    -John

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    Quite a few depts hiring in norcal. You just have to be proactive. I just counted 12. Most are for ff/emt. Gotta know where to look instead of the obvious places. Good luck.

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    Default California Fire Depts.

    JohnnySF,

    There's been a lot of good advise posted before I read this, but I think something that has failed to be mentioned is a position in wildland fire. I know it may not be the "badge" that you are looking for, but it will give you the opportunity to be a firefighter / EMT and gain a lot of experience in all-risk emergency response which can be an exceptional resume builder for other employement down the road. Additionally the hiring process is much shorter and typically easier to get into than municipal depts, and since you seem to have somewhat of a time crunch this may be a good option for you to stay in California and be a firefighter.

    Just a thought! USFS, Cal Fire, and other federal agencies all do their seasonal firefighter hiring very soon, you should look into it! Pay rates and benefits are always much much better than working for any private EMT or fire contract company. Hope this helps!

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    My story:

    BA in Public Administration
    Bilingual in Spanish/English
    EMT/EMTP-working in both.
    Volunteer
    FFI
    COULD NOT SEEM TO GET THE JOB for years...So discouraged. At about 4 years after starting, even my mom was saying, "Hey, you've done alot of great stuff! Just move on and do something else. Its nothing to be ashamed of if you don't get the job..."

    I almost started to believe I couldn't do it...

    I was driving one day from work as a medic in SF to see a girl I was dating in the south bay and thinking about what I was going to try to do with my life if I didn't get the badge. I get a page from a friend who was crashing at my place in SF to save money that says I needed to call him immediately, "EMERGENCY". I wonder what the hell happened and find a place off the 280 to call him. I call and don't even get the first word finished before he yells, "Dude! I just got a call. This lady asks for you and I say i'm you because i've got this feeling that its important. She says she's from the City of Las Vegas and is calling to offer me the position of firefighter for the City! I'm so excited and tell her 'YES!'...She laughs because i'm so fired up and gives me all the information for when to start. I'm so into it, I hang up and can't believe I just got the job!...and then I go ****, the job's for Paul...I gotta get ahold of him NOW!"

    I'm standing at a payphone off this crazy exit with my crazy friend who just impersonated me to make sure I got the job and everything I'd worked for, suffered for, and dreamed of...was finally coming true. Every doubt, every question like, "Why would you put yourself through this?" (my dad's btw.), everything in one moment had become worth it...(Crazy Bill got picked up within a year in the Bay Area. I married the girl. I've worked for the department for 12 years now. Life is good.)

    The difference between those who do and those who don't:

    1. The do's are better testers. Become a better fire department test taker! It took me FOREVER to figure this out. Once I learned how to do it CORRECTLY, I started to go very deep in the process and getting the kinds of responses I was hoping for. It was a short trip from there to the badge. Get the oral board courses from people like Capt. Bob and Chief Lepore, and if your don't see any improvement, get some coaching. Practice. Practice. Practice.

    2. Don't quit. I understand wanting to make your dad proud...and your sense of urgency due to his illness. I can say from personal experience, that the pride your father has for you and the happiness you give him will only grow if you keep not taking "no" for an answer and improving yourself.

    Finally, I heard all of the reasons for people not getting hired...Unfair process, testing process not really made for hiring the most qualified, hiring of specific ethnicities or sexes, all of it... Try to remember that if the world was fair and perfect, it wouldn't need people like us.

    Go do it, man. Don't give up. You're almost there. You just don't see it yet through the fog of frustration.

    Paul
    Last edited by PaulC.; 11-23-2010 at 11:37 AM.

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    PaulC- Thats a great story!! Thanks for sharing it.

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    My pleasure. I hope it helps. The process can be frustrating and make the individual doubt their abilities. I want guys to know that people have been where they are, and it can be done!

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    Just saw your post, PaulC. Thanks for the reply. I actually just failed out of paramedic school today (made it half way through). I have a whole lot of emotions/thoughts running through my head right now, to say the least. I'm ready to through in the towel pending my results on a Reserve Firefighter position here in the Bay Area. If I get in there then I'll bust my butt and stay there as long as I have to. The Captain told me directly, they unofficially only hire reserves for there full time FF/EMT and FF/Medic positions. Since they started the program 30 years ago no outsiders have been brought on full time, just reserves. After that I don't know what the hell to do. Currently I work construction, bartend, and have a fiance. Thus no life, lol. We'll see what happens. I'll keep ya posted. Thanks again for the kind words, right now it means a lot.

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