1. #1
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    Default Civilian Military FF Career

    I have begun to ponder a career as a Civilian FF on a military base after reading more about the job on this forum and based on my current appointment with the BLM as a wildland firefighter.

    I was hoping to find out if there are more web sites available or if someone could steer me in the right direction. I am also curious as to the day-to-day life at one of these stations because I also have previous experience at a small Paid/Combination Call fire department and am not sure if its a "military" or "city" culture.

    I believe I would be a good hire due to my 5+ years with a structural dept (FF II) and my current Federal experience (Engine Boss qualified) of 4 years. Should I get my EMT before applying? Does it matter (other than Vet points on usajobs) that I don't have military experience? Im pretty uninformed on civilian military fire jobs!

    If you prefer to Private Message me that's understandable (i would do the same if someone wanted me to explain what we do during "down time" at my current job! )

    Thanks

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    Unless if things have changed, if you are applying for a GS5 position, DoD regulations require the following IFSAC/Pro-Board certifications as a minimum:

    -FFII
    -Haz Mat Ops
    -EMT-B (or NREMT-B if the state the position is in accepts it)
    -Fire Inspector I
    -Fire Officer I
    -Driver/Operator Pumps
    -Driver/Operator Aerials
    -ARFF if applicable

    I cannot tell you about the environment of Departments other than the ones I have worked at, but for the most part, they are all basically the same. Shifts are usually either 24 or 48 hours long. You begin by having roll call, where the bosses disseminate vital information. Everyone discusses topics of importance, vehicles, gear issues, etc. You are released from roll call, and you begin doing your morning checks. If you are a D/O you check your rig. Firefighters check their SCBA and their bunker gear. Then they may help the D/O check the rest of the equipment on the rig, or start to do the station cleaning assignments. After everything is clean and rigs are checked, you usually have a coffee/breakfast break. After that is training, then lunch. After lunch is usually more training or perhaps building inspections or some kind of other work. The "work day" where I was at ended with the gym at 1530-1645. Return to the station, shower up, and the rest of the shift is yours as you please, just get on the BRT if the bells go off.

    Downtime is downtime. Why would anyone be afraid of explaining it? Like I said, after 1630, the rest of the shift is yours. We would wash or work on our personal vehicles, personal projects (we had one guy who was a wood worker, had the back of his enclosed pickup loaded with his portable tools...) play games, study, internet, cook for everyone else, etc etc etc......

    The culture was kind of a mix of Military and Civilian. Kinda hard to explain.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Do I have a chance of getting hired even though I have no military experience? Are these bases hiring more firefighters or laying them off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Unless if things have changed, if you are applying for a GS5 position, DoD regulations require the following IFSAC/Pro-Board certifications as a minimum:

    -FFII
    -Haz Mat Ops
    -EMT-B (or NREMT-B if the state the position is in accepts it)
    -Fire Inspector I
    -Fire Officer I
    -Driver/Operator Pumps
    -Driver/Operator Aerials
    -ARFF if applicable

    I cannot tell you about the environment of Departments other than the ones I have worked at, but for the most part, they are all basically the same. Shifts are usually either 24 or 48 hours long. You begin by having roll call, where the bosses disseminate vital information. Everyone discusses topics of importance, vehicles, gear issues, etc. You are released from roll call, and you begin doing your morning checks. If you are a D/O you check your rig. Firefighters check their SCBA and their bunker gear. Then they may help the D/O check the rest of the equipment on the rig, or start to do the station cleaning assignments. After everything is clean and rigs are checked, you usually have a coffee/breakfast break. After that is training, then lunch. After lunch is usually more training or perhaps building inspections or some kind of other work. The "work day" where I was at ended with the gym at 1530-1645. Return to the station, shower up, and the rest of the shift is yours as you please, just get on the BRT if the bells go off.

    Downtime is downtime. Why would anyone be afraid of explaining it? Like I said, after 1630, the rest of the shift is yours. We would wash or work on our personal vehicles, personal projects (we had one guy who was a wood worker, had the back of his enclosed pickup loaded with his portable tools...) play games, study, internet, cook for everyone else, etc etc etc......

    The culture was kind of a mix of Military and Civilian. Kinda hard to explain.
    I'm pretty sure according to DoDI 6055.6M and OPM's Classification for 0081 Series that a GS-5 all you need is FFII and ARFF (If applicable). GS-06 is a Hazmat Operations level grade and as we all know GS-07 is Tech/BLS. Don't get me wrong... all those things mentioned will help considerably when applying. But as for the bare minimum...

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    What state are you currently living in? Send me a message.

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    Is there a reason you do not apply to city departments?? That would be my recommendation

    If you want to ho fed then as someone said look for a training slot if you CSM find one or a non flying base


    Sorry for cut and paste but to me it lets you bookmark and do your own research


    http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/search....Emp=N&FedPub=Y



    You can also post questions here

    http://www.dodfire.com/

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    Posted this originally in the wrong thread:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the Navy sometimes posts announcement that are GS4/7 or 4/6 meaning you start out as a recruit or trainee (GS4), sent to the fire academy and raise a grade every year given that you meet the requirements to achieve the next grade. You must meet 52 weeks time in grade to qualify for the next grade.

    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Correct. I myself was hired as a GS4/1 TEMP NTE 1 YEAR at a Naval Installation which was in the process of closing it's doors. It had a small housing area, and due to another, different nearby Naval Installation that was using the housing area, the BRAC Closure agreement dictated that fire protection be provided until as late as possible.

    It was a gamble for me, as I was a heavy truck repair apprentice with a good job and benefits at the time, but I was just not happy. Some friends who were Federal Firefighters at the time talked me into it, as they could help me jump hurdles and get me transferred elsewhere (even though I was a GS4 Temp, I still "had my foot in the door.") So I jumped at it, got hired, and kept putting in my applications everywhere. Eventually I was extended for another year, but then I got picked up at the Phila Naval Shipyard FD as a GS-5 TERM trainee. Spent a year as a 5, made it to 6, then got converted to Career-Conditional.

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    I actually work for the National Guard(Air and Army) as a civilian(State Employed) Firefighter. I was already at the FFII level when hired but had to be put through ARFF and will hopefully get to start my EMT sometime in 2011. I believe my background in aviation helped but I can't say that for sure. It is a good job. I work on a small base so it is pretty quiet most of the time and the days go pretty much as described in one of the earlier posts. You might want to look into that route. The pay isn't quite as good as the federal jobs at the two bases near mine but we also don't have the same call volume. If I can answer any questions for you, please let me know. We have guys from all different backgrounds at my station.

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    Please click one of the Quick Reply icons in the posts above to activate Quick Reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostondude View Post
    Please click one of the Quick Reply icons in the posts above to activate Quick Reply.
    uhh......ok?

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    haha...yeah that was an accident

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    Military experience is not required. It helps, as you will see that there is a large population of vets in the Federal Fire system. Your previous appointment as a fed will help. It really comes down to IFSAC/DOD/PRO BOARD certs w/ an EMT. If you have that your golden. I have been a firefighter for 13.5 years, and left a city to go to the feds 6 years ago. Hands down the best financial decision I have ever made. It all depends on what your goals are. The feds is a great place to work, and it is the "fire service" just like any other organization (call volume is less depending where your work and the population we service is a little different). There are federal firefighters that are not DOD also, such as DOE, DHS, VA and NPS. The GS-0081 series is US Govt wide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFPM0081 View Post
    I have been a firefighter for 13.5 years, and left a city to go to the feds 6 years ago. Hands down the best financial decision I have ever made.
    Not always the case everywhere. In the East, municipal firefighters are more likely to have better pay and hours. If financial considerations are driving you, you need to study pay and locality benefits very carefully.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Not always the case everywhere. In the East, municipal firefighters are more likely to have better pay and hours. If financial considerations are driving you, you need to study pay and locality benefits very carefully.
    Mearly sharing my experience.

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