1. #1
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    Default Going from Contract to Agency

    Hello:

    I am seeking advice from experienced agency employees regarding my situation. I am 26 years old, and here is a little background on myself...

    My Education:
    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
    EMT-Basic
    Fluent in American Sign Language

    My Experience:
    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.

    Kevin

  2. #2
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    Default

    Not sure what you are lookin for::

    http://www.tcfp.state.tx.us/pdf_posts/austin.pdf

  3. #3
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    RxFire's Avatar
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    Default

    Don't give up hope. Right now budgets are tight in the feds, and engines are being dropped in some locations.

    You have until age 37 to be able to make a career with the feds. One piece of advice... be willing to go anywhere for a year or two if offered a permant job. You may have to start as a permanent-seasonal with a 13/13 or 18/8 position. But once you get your foot in the door, you can move up...usually by moving to other places.

    Good Luck
    IACOJ
    Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!
    http://www.wy.blm.gov/fireuse/fums.htm

  4. #4
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    Fire49: Thank you for the link I will be pursuing this further. I appreciate it!

    RxFire: Thank you for the response. I will definitely not give up, I am very motivated and always follow things through until I reach my goals. I have seen the budget issue affect my local forest ranger districts, I know for a fact several Oregon districts are choosing to not staff their type 6 engines this summer due to budget issues, leaving more contract work my current company (because of our high performance evaluations we are the first type 6 engine dispatched in our two closest national forests). I am more than happy to relocate in order to have a full time job, and I understand that a good way to advance is to be adaptable and willing to bounce around for a few years. Could you explain a little bit about the 13/13 or 18/8 positions? I'm not familiar with those terms. Thank you for your time.
    Kevin

  5. #5
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    RxFire's Avatar
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    The 13/13 (said as "13 & 13") and 18/8 is sometimes also called 13/26 or 18/26. This refers to your minimum work tour per calander year.

    The year is 26 pay periods long (2 weeks per pay period). For clarity, let's call it 13/26... you are guaranteed 13 pay periods of work... anything over that is bonus. Therefore, the 18/26 is 18 pp out of the 26. Some places even have a 25/1 (25/26), where you work all but 2 weeks of a year. Then there is the 26/0.. permanent full time.

    It's looking like my district will be dropping a type 6 engine, but it's only a shell game in reality. It may be staffed by a small fuels crew who would use it in place of a regular pickup and be available for fires.
    IACOJ
    Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!
    http://www.wy.blm.gov/fireuse/fums.htm

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