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    Question Military Firefighter

    My dream job is becoming a career firefighter. I am in process of applying to a volly station, and I have two more years left of college. I was considering maybe going into military firefighting to get a bit more experience with firefighting/military. I haven't really decided yet, though, if that is what I really want to do as apposed to getting out of college and starting to apply to departments.

    Anyone know anything about military firefighting?

    Do you think it's worth looking into or should I be o.k. with some volunteer experience and a 4 year degree?
    :-J Remmy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Remmy View Post
    My dream job is becoming a career firefighter. I am in process of applying to a volly station, and I have two more years left of college. I was considering maybe going into military firefighting to get a bit more experience with firefighting/military. I haven't really decided yet, though, if that is what I really want to do as apposed to getting out of college and starting to apply to departments.

    Anyone know anything about military firefighting?

    Do you think it's worth looking into or should I be o.k. with some volunteer experience and a 4 year degree?
    Nope.. no one knows a thing..

    Check out the Federal/Military firehouse forums.
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/f300/

    Do a search. There is plenty of info in there.

    USAF Firefighting is the closest option to working in a municipal fire department, but slots are very difficult to get.

    -Damien

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    Oh awesome. Completely missed that section. Gracias friend
    :-J Remmy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Remmy View Post
    Do you think it's worth looking into or should I be o.k. with some volunteer experience and a 4 year degree?
    1. Go down to the Military and Federal Firefighting threads.

    2. Use the SEARCH funtion. This question is asked and answered once, twice, and three times a week.
    Military experience gets you additional preference (by extra points on your written score or other means) in many (but not all) municipal civil service departments. Many many major cities award bonus points for veterans.

    If you are serious about this, first of all, you should want to enlist and serve your country because it's a patriotic thing that you can do for your country, NOT FOR YOU. The vets points for a fire exam are a bonus for you.

    Military Fire Experience will NOT, I repeat NOT help you for consideration in many departments, especially the big cities. They could care less where you came from or how much experience you have. You only get the vets points. Thats all.

    SOME non-civil service departments may give you consideration for already having the certifications (that the USAF will give you) in hand.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    I am there and searching. Gracias.
    :-J Remmy

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    If you are serious about this, first of all, you should want to enlist and serve your country because it's a patriotic thing that you can do for your country, NOT FOR YOU. The vets points for a fire exam are a bonus for you.
    Agreed 110% with my brother from Pee-Ayy.. This needs to be said time and time again. Serving in the military is a noble venture. Do it because you want to serve your country, not because you expect a handout (job) from your country when you are done with your minimum amount of enlistment.

    This specific topic chaps a lot of asses..

    -Damien

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Remmy View Post
    My dream job is becoming a career firefighter. I am in process of applying to a volly station, and I have two more years left of college. I was considering maybe going into military firefighting to get a bit more experience with firefighting/military. I haven't really decided yet, though, if that is what I really want to do as apposed to getting out of college and starting to apply to departments.

    Anyone know anything about military firefighting?

    Do you think it's worth looking into or should I be o.k. with some volunteer experience and a 4 year degree?
    If wanting to be a career FF, stick with the college and look to obtain your paramedic cert, and get your fire certs. Education sticks out moreso today than even experience for most entry level positions. You can still test for places that ask for basic requirements like 18, HS diploma/GED, driver's license. Most testing processes for career FDs is very time consuming and you don't have the ability to test while serving.

    As mentioned before, look towards the military out of service itself, not for experience. Military experience WILL help for a career FD, but in most cases, it is the service itself, not the job. This means a dept could care less if you were a FF in the military or regular infantry, what matters is the service and this comes in the form of vet points. Even if you did land a FF job in a military branch, you are looking at enlistment time and committment and when looking for a career FF job, will find your military FF experience really doesn't stick out all that much.

    My advice is if you really want to be a career FF, keep the route you are going and don't look to the military. If you want to serve, then serve out of dedication to the country, not for job experience. Although if you did want to go military, there are plenty of jobs one can do to learn valuable skills and still can become a FF.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    Also you will find in some of the posts, military does not get much action, unless they do mutual aid off base


    You will get your arrf, but unless you work for a city that has an airport not much help

    As stated get your paramedic and start applying for city jobs

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    If wanting to be a career FF, stick with the college and look to obtain your paramedic cert, and get your fire certs. Education sticks out moreso today than even experience for most entry level positions.
    Agree and disagree.

    It all depends on where you want to apply. Many major City and County Departments in the East again, could care less how many certs, what kind of certs, or how many college degrees you have.

    Other places, (traditionally further west of the East Coast) do want you to have certs and will give you credits or preference for college degrees.

    These same departments however will allow additional credit and preference to Veterans. I will always be of the mindset that serving in the Military is of great benefit for applying for a career position. Not only do you get the Vets points, but you can also get that college degree or the Medic certification on Uncle Sam's dime while you are enlisted or immediately after.

    Remember, competition for Fire Department jobs is cut-throat. You need every edge you can get. Know where you want to apply, know their requirements, and go from there. But don't limit yourself to one place. Take each and every civil service exam that comes down the pike. All of them. Take every Fire and Cop test that you can get your hands on, even if you don't want the job. Had I known "then" what I know now, I could have started out as a Philly Cop (had what translates into a job offer) and eventually worked my way into the Fire Department. Regret it to this day. But take all the tests- the more the better, and the practice does you good.
    Last edited by FWDbuff; 06-05-2011 at 07:47 AM.
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    Posted by my Brother from another mother in Pee-Ayy...
    Take every Fire and Cop test that you can get your hands on, even if you don't want the job. Had I known "then" what I know now, I could have started out as a Philly Cop (had what translates into a job offer) and eventually worked my way into the Fire Department.
    I'm trying to picture you as a cop... you would make Dirty Harry look like a namby pamby jackwagon!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Posted by my Brother from another mother in Pee-Ayy...


    I'm trying to picture you as a cop... you would make Dirty Harry look like a namby pamby jackwagon!
    Probably better that I were not a Philly cop......I would be an old-school Philly cop in a new school world......They mix about as good as oil and water. I have a friend who retired, 26 years total on the PPD....He cut his teeth as a rookie cop in the 24th & 25th districts....Some of the toughest beats in the USA. He is a little guy, maybe 5'4" and 130 soaking wet....He would pull up on a street corner where a bunch of hoodlums were all hanging out. The ones who did not disperse when he pulled up would be told "hit the bricks." The ones remaining after that were usually the smart-azzed mouthy ones. He would get out of the car and listen to them for a second, then go to the biggest one, who would then wake up in Central Booking or Temple Hospital with his face caved in. The others of course dispersed.
    Last edited by FWDbuff; 06-05-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Agree and disagree.

    It all depends on where you want to apply. Many major City and County Departments in the East again, could care less how many certs, what kind of certs, or how many college degrees you have.

    Other places, (traditionally further west of the East Coast) do want you to have certs and will give you credits or preference for college degrees.

    These same departments however will allow additional credit and preference to Veterans. I will always be of the mindset that serving in the Military is of great benefit for applying for a career position. Not only do you get the Vets points, but you can also get that college degree or the Medic certification on Uncle Sam's dime while you are enlisted or immediately after.

    I really won't argue the semantics, yes every dept is different, and while several depts may not ask for college, many do give points for education. As you said, another thing that stands out. At the same time we are seeing budgets grow tighter and tighter and a paramedic cert does stand out more today as well. A dept can hire a medic vs spending money on sending people to school. Again it does depend on the dept, but this is the trend you see today.

    The issue with the military is that it will certainly put a halt to the chance of landing a job now, let alone a chance to test around. As it is, the OP states he is already in college and one can still test for several depts now, while going to school, but would have to wait until after military service to do so. Point being is that if a job is offered one can always stop college and go back and finish later, whereas the military has an obligation time period attached.

    I will agree that military service can be a great benefit when applying for such a position, but as I mention to such posts, it doesn't matter the job you do. While I'm happy with being a FF in the Navy, I'm glad I had the chance to learn many other skills as well. Much of that learning came from the type of command I was on and many FF jobs in the military don't have the same opportunity to really learn other skills. It is this that drives the advice I give that being a FF in the military really won't help your chances for a career.
    As for college while serving, I completely agree, there are many credits that can be obtained while serving, but obtaining a degree can be a challenge in an enlistment.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    I live in Baltimore right now, but I was considering moving to another state after college. What do you mean by "Many major City and County Departments in the East again, could care less how many certs, what kind of certs, or how many college degrees you have. " Is it all about experience for these departments?
    :-J Remmy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Remmy View Post
    I live in Baltimore right now, but I was considering moving to another state after college. What do you mean by "Many major City and County Departments in the East again, could care less how many certs, what kind of certs, or how many college degrees you have. " Is it all about experience for these departments?
    Baltimore. Philadelphia. Chicago. FDNY. Boston........And many more large departments could care less how many certs or college credits you have, and also could care less how much experience you have. (For example, if you were assigned to the busiest engine company in New York City and were there for 10 years, and applied for a job in Philly, they could care less. You will go through all the training, and be a proby firefighter again just like you were in New York City 10 years ago.) Philly could also care less that you have a doctorate in Fire Science, Fire Service Administration and Disaster Management all rolled into one.....You get no preferential treatment (other than Vets points towards your civil service written results) towards getting hired. You are not a Philly Firefighter until you go through their academy. Period. Same goes for many other large departments.

    Now smaller departments, on the other hand can do and will hire you based on certs and experience, simply for the fact that they do not have the time, money, facilities (or all of the above) to run a training academy.

    Bottom line is, if I were you, I would go in any branch of the US Military (if you want firefighting, go USAF) and do 4 years. While you are in, get your paramagician ticket on Uncle Sam's dime. And rememer to enlist because you want to serve your country, not to satisfy your own desires. Bonus points for civil service exams are a bonus for doing the patrotic thing and serving.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Bottom line is, if I were you, I would go in any branch of the US Military (if you want firefighting, go USAF) and do 4 years. While you are in, get your paramagician ticket on Uncle Sam's dime.
    Here is where I will disagree. The issue with getting paramagician while serving, isn't really going to happen, UNLESS, you enlist for a medic type of job. The problem is that even with military FF, paramedic is not a primary duty and will fall upon that of a medic, which means the military is not going to waste their time sending some grunt, mechanic, electrician, FF or other non-medic job duty to paramedic.

    One could go on their own time for paramedic, but the other problem is that a typical paramedic course is a year long, with a lot of time and effort to be put in. This means it is a full time class that needs time away from work to accomplish. Between classes there are clinicals as well as paramedic ride alongs and patient contacts which must be done. This means while serving, Uncle Sam could care less about your goals to become a medic when you have your military duties to attend to.

    I disagree with the sentiment because I did serve and understand the challenges faced to look for such a job. While serving you are at Uncle Sam's beckon call and the chance for you to really accomplish any significant degree or cert while serving (outside your military duty) is very slim, especially in a single enlistment. You really will not have the time off to accomplish such a cert as paramagician.

    Now on another aspect is that vet points do count towards yourscore and can stand out, however, the question you have to ask yourself is ...Is it worth 4 years of your life? Vet points vary, but most I have seen counted towards 5 to 10 points and while it can help land you a job, so can education and college.


    The reason I disagree with a military approach for someone looking to land a job is that most don't account for the commitment involved in the military. The stuff about earning a degree etc while serving doesn't account for the big picture. Sure it is possible, but also means you give up a lot, as well as the chance to really do so are slim, especially if looking at an off base college program. Four years is a long time to sit back and wait for a few vet points, whereas many non-vets do get hired as FF's everyday. If looking at the military solely to bolster your chances of being a career FF...Don't. Look towards the military only if you choose to serve your country.....no other reason than that.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    I had originally wanted to join the AF to serve, but then I realized that there were military firefighters. But from what I'm reading on FH, it doesn't look like it will give me much experience in terms of fighting fires. But I will have just finished 4 (maybe 5) years of college, and then put in 4 more years in military. After reading into it and thinking a lot about it, I don't think it's the best fit for me right now. I am thinking that I'm just going to try to start a career after college and get some experience along the way (even if it really doesn't help me, I still like doing everything I can to better my knowledge of what I want to do, and I basically just love anything to do with first responding)

    What do you guys think about smaller rural departments/Baltimore city or bigger departments? What would be the best place to get started? Both types are close by. I would figure the city would have more volume in calls.
    :-J Remmy

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    Our town will hire anyone who applies, and can pass the academy. But I will warn you, they only seem to want to hire guys who look like they just graduated from high school, and have zero experience.

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