Going from Contract to Agency
I am seeking advice from experienced agency employees regarding my situation. I am 26 years old, and here is a little background on myself...
Bachelor's Degree in Fire Services Administration
Associate's Degree in Wildland Firefighting & Fuels Management
Associate's Degree in Fire Protection Technology (Structural)
Associate's Degree in Management & Supervisory Development
Fluent in American Sign Language
8 years of wildland experience both on hand crews and engines, advancing from Firefighter II, to Firefighter I, to Engine Boss Trainee, to my current position as Engine Boss (last 5 years) for a reputable private contract company based in Oregon.
Completed a Structural Firefighting internship where I earned my NFPA Firefighter I.
EMT instructor experience for a local community college.
Currently from September to June I work as an EMT & Head of Security for a private elementary school in Portland, OR (administrative position).
I am trying to find a full-time, year round position with a government agency that would allow me the opportunity to fight fire during the summer, and provide other forestry related services during the off season. I feel that given my education and work experience I would be a competitive candidate for a year round position. The problem that I see with my goal is that I have never been affiliated with a government wildland agency. I have been told by some government employees that if I wanted to go from contract to agency I would have to start back at the bottom of the ladder as a seasonal employee, and slowly work my way back up the ladder. I currently earn $500 a day as an Engine Boss/EMT, but am willing to take a pay cut if I can have steady year round employment with benefits. I have never received any feedback regarding the dozens of applications I have submitted through USAJobs, and I feel that it might be because I am currently not affiliated with a government agency. And yes, I have made the necessary follow-up calls to individual field offices and have received no help.
Does anyone have any advice or insight about how a contract Engine Boss can become affiliated with a government agency? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for reading and have a great day.