Hey guys, I'm so bummed.
Hey guys, first off, I really want to say thanks for reading and responding to my posts the last 4-5 months or so. It's been greatly appreciated.
As some of you may know, my wife and I moved (along with 2 little kids) up to the western part of NC about a yr and a half ago. I moved up here b/c I received a job offer in real estate development which I've been doing since graduating college in 06. Well, the builder had some financial issues and as a result, I was let go. Not soon after we moved up here, I got laid off. It really stung.
I started looking into other careers b/c I didnt want something like this to happen again. In construction, you never know what your job outlook is like in the future it seems. So I was looking into the medical / public health field, but not nursing, more like EMT and FF. The more I looked into it the more I researched, and the more and more I got obsessed. I have 2 family members either still working or since retired from a large dept in South FL. I wanted to be a part of it. Not necessarily that particular dept, but any dept in my home state of FL, specifically Central FL where I used to live. I started looking into EMT classes and fire classes, and that's when I learned that only my EMT would transfer to FL. Fire school wouldn't. So for the past yr or so I've been doing my research, talked to my wife and we decided to give it a try back in FL. She is also a FL native and wanted to stay in FL to begin with, but my job offer came about in early 2010, and we moved up here to western NC. So for the past yr, I've had it in my mind that we were moving back. I was ready to start EMT and fire school in Central FL, and hope for the best after finishing school. I've still got a family member at the large dept in South FL, if that would help, I'd love to work there and just make the drive from Central FL. No big deal.
A few days ago, my wife decided to tell me that she wants to stay in NC and not move back to FL. I was devasted, and still am. She so afraid that I won't be able to get a job after finishing EMT and fire school. I feel confident, but I know it's very competitive. I know it's probably best for our kids to stay here (less crime, better schools, etc).
If I can't move back to FL, then by all means, I want to work as an EMT/FF/Medic here in NC. I'm just so frustrated right now b/c I've had this plan and I really thought it would work out in FL. May have it taken a few yrs to get a FF job in FL, absolutely. I know how competitive it is. I may be looking at the same time frame here. Very few paid depts, and a ton of vol depts. So my chances seem to be restricted here as well.
Any advice/comments/suggestions? Thanks for reading. It's greatly appreciated.
Not to be a dick, but do you really want this career or the perks of it?
Florida has thousands of FF/EMTs/Medics going for very few jobs, you should know this being on this forum. Even when the big departments hire you'll be competing with guys who are already on the job at smaller departments looking to advance. Not saying it's impossible but if you have a family to support and had prior financial problems I wouldn't risk coming back down here with the way the state is right now.
Try looking into neighboring states such as VA, TN, GA. I know several departments are hiring in VA.
No, no offense taken. I want it as a career, not the perks.
I could make more money using my degree, but I really want to pursue FF.
I really enjoyed my EMT class WAY more than all my college courses, and I know it's what I want to pursue. I loved every part of it. I've had previous jobs where I was helping handicapped and so forth. I've also done some volunteer work and it was very fulfilling. Thanks for your thoughts, SVTxDUDE.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a FF job in Florida for guys who HAVE The certs, nevermind those that dont?
Yes, I'm aware. It's certainly tough. But getting my EMT and Medic, I was hoping to get some experience first, and just keep applying througout Central FL. That would have been fine. I was prepared to wait, for sure. I actually got an offer from a family member of mine to work with him, while using my EMT.
I think whatever cert's you get in other states, when you go to Florida, California and some other states, they say, nay nay nay, you have to take the complete course here or you can't get certified.
Originally Posted by Want2BAFF.
Capt, I believe you're right, FL is tough when it comes to reciprocity. EMT transfers to FL, but I'm pretty sure FF1 and FF2 do not. Unsure about medic.
If this is a career you are serious & pasionate about, let your wife know. If she supports you, she will understand. You need to talk to her and make a deal with your wife. Tell her you won't move till you have a job. Have her agree to moving once you are hired on with a dept.
I am one of those guys in FL looking for a job. I would love to stay in FL if I can. However, I am willing to move for my career. I plan to test out of state and at a few different departments. Most places don't have residency requirements till you are hired. So you can travel & test, but once hired, you would need to move.
My wife supports me 110% and has no problems with moving for my career. However, we are staying here till I have a job.
Hey man, thanks for your reply, Longshot. But having my FF1 and FF2 from another state, I'm not sure I would get hired in FL. But I'd drive down there any opportunity I've got. I would definitely do that, but I'm just not sure how much of a chance I'll have having my certs from NC (and not FL). I plan on getting FF1 and 2 and medic...
FL does pretty much require you to be a certified FL Firefighter to apply for most jobs here. I don't believe too many other states cert's will carry over. So that does make it tough.
The only real suggestion I can think of would be to take some time off work and attend an academy here in FL. Most of the full time programs are only two or three months long. I did the part time program, which was 7 months long.
I think the Ocala Fire College even has lodging. So you could come down & take your classes with them and stay on campus. Then when you were done, head back up north. The FL cert is good for 3 years, with no active job or volunteer work. So that may be something to look into.
Longshot, that's something I could look into. The 2-3 month program in Ocala. That's probably the only thing I could do. I don't believe even medic transfers to FL, so even if I get my Medic cert to become more valuable, I dont know that it would transfer to FL.
PS- if anyone likes the Asheville NC area, and it's a great area, they seem to be in short supply of medics. I dont have my medic yet obviously, so I'll pss this long... Buncombe Co EMS starts medics at $45k, which seems to be pretty good. 24 on, 48 off. Great place to live and raise a family, 4 seasons but mild winters compared to the NE.
Like Longshot said, your best bet is to do FF/Medic here, FL doesn't accept much of anything outside of FL. You could try to get reciprocity but it'll probably take longer than the time it takes to complete the courses here.
One thing to know is when you take EMT-B in Florida you get National Registry upon certification, but not for paramedic.
Man, this is tough. Even IF I can convince my wife to move back, and by doing so, I mean by getting my FL FF certs, it'd still be so tough because I wouldn't have my medic cert when applying to jobs in FL. If it wouldn't transfer, I probably wouldn't do it. So I'm limiting myself by only having my EMT and FF1 and FF2 when applying for jobs in FL. It seems like being a fire-medic is much more favorable.
Take your minimum standards here, lodge at the fire college, and get your national registry certs.
Paramedic is transferable to Florida and it is possible to challenge fire certs but it is very difficult. I was able to do both when I moved here. Paramedic took about 2 weeks and Fire Standards took 6 months because of all the paperwork required. Yor cert classes for fire have to meet the required hrs and subject matter as Floridas before you can challenge. Some FDs in Central Fl. will hire you as a single cert paramedic until you get your FF Standards. All that being said, the fire schools are turning out more firefighters than jobs in Fla. right now. Our last test had over 400 applicants for 15 positions.
p.s. It,s much easier to take your fire certs in Fla. and transfer it to another state than to transfer to Fla.
Mdresku1, out of curiosity, which dept do you work for? I saw another post where you mentioned your dept hires medics only. You may not want to say it here, can you PM me?
No problem, I work for the Villages Fire Dept. Located between Leesburg and Ocala.
If you really want this career take one step at a time and don't listen to people who discourage you. Nothing worth doing is easy. It is easy to get overwhelmed when looking at the big picture. Make a list of things you need to do and start doing them and crossing that list off. Everyone trying to get into this career is flesh and blood just like you. Hell, I am a high school dropout with no military experience and didnt even have my medic patch when I was hired not once but twice. The second time with my dream department. And let me tell you something, the rewards of helping people are what this job is all about but the perks sure don't suck either. Best of luck to you and your family. Peace.
Thanks mdresku1 and beachfire.
Kid im the guy you were looking for. The only advice i can give you after my ranting is this.. I was FULLY certified when i typed up that rant.. FF/Medic/FlightMedic so until your FULLY certified, you dont have time to be typing any of this..While your typing your competition is on rides, in clinicals and WORKING to get to where YOU want to be..
GET TO WORK. YOU CAN DO IT. We have all been there.. every single one of us has been in your seat..Remember, the best place to start is from the bottom kid. Start pushing and dont quit.
I took a lot of help from the people that offered it. Start looking at youtube.. look at what your dreaming about.. carve it out in your damn head and go after it. Period. The more people that told you why they couldnt do it (male rns in er hospitals lol) and why you SHOULDNT do it are the exact people that didnt have the heart to continue..they lost there hunger.
Youll get there because i got there kid.
Keep your head up.
Remember.. Rocky was broke running through the streets when people (out of no where) wanted to HELP him by tossing him food WHILE HE WAS RUNNING..
Nobody would have given Rocky a damn orange if he would have been walking..
Youll be suprised who comes out in your favor.
Rocky in the meat freezer,
Hey man, yeah I remember you. Thanks for the reply. Although I know it's a very tough road to get to where I wanna be, I'm all in. Whatever it takes. I have an obsessive personailty, meaning once I get something in my head, it's very hard for me to stop until I get there. I've been that way since I was a little kid. It's kind of a curse, actually.
My problem isn't so much with the time it may take to achieve my dream, it's more of a "I'm stuck and don't know what to do" because my wife's decision to move back to FL has changed. Being born in FL, I have a big time attachment to it. It's very hard to live in a place when you long to be somewhere else. I feel like a finally found my niche, my passion. I had a plan, and I feel like my plan has been busted up. At least I can be an EMT in FL while voluteering and getting certified, etc. Where I am, basics are very few and far between, and very few are actually paid.
I want to show my wife how serious about this I am about this career. I think she would be more willing to discuss moving back if I were marketable and hireable. The problem is, only EMT's are easy to transfer to FL from another state. Medic and FF are very tough from what I understand.
Look bro, I know I have talked to you about this as well. To me, it sounds like your problem is more your wife than anything else, forget the job and focus on whatever is going on with you and your wife, if she is not in for the long haul to let you have the career you want, it may be time to make a change, clearly if someone is going to hold you back from what you claim is your dream and nothing will let you stop achieving it, you are going to have to work on that first. You shouldn't have to get the certs and make yourself "marketable" to prove to her you are serious. You are married to this woman, if she doesn't know you by now, she never will, vice versa.
Originally Posted by Want2BAFF.
It's all about compromise bud, you can't make everyone happy, but you need to do what you can to make yourself happy, if you are truly unhappy with the situation, MAKE THE CHANGE! Sorry to be direct but I think this is what you need, people are going to be less inclined to listen if you keep on like this, if it important to you, do it, don't wait because there are a 1,000+ tossing around the idea everyday, probably for the wrong reasons, but if you claim to want it for the reasons other than the perks, you better get going. Not getting any younger friend! Good luck.
Hey man, thx for the reply. Hey guys I dont want to turn this into a pitty party by any means, so no worries. I'm gonna get **** done, get whatever certs I can, etc. and go from there guys.
Thanks for the comments everyone. I appreciate you guys reading it and we'll see what happens. I'll keep you guys posted and continue posting.
PS - she's totally cool with me chasing my dream, she just doesn't want me to do it in FL.
Originally Posted by Want2BAFF.
Hey man... How old are you? I don't know what to tell you other than what everyone else has...
Only advice I can give is if you love your wife and kids they need to be put first... Some things are just not meant to be... If this is for you it will happen... If not it won't.....
There are 6,000 + fully certified guys in the state of Florida trying to make this their dream.... The reality is there just is no "marketable" situation you can get yourself into... Everyone going into the testings for jobs that do open are pretty much equally "marketable". From that point is about how well you test.. and a LOT OF LUCK!!!!
I will give this advice... If you uproot your family to come down here and go after this.... Be prepared there is a good chance you still may never get the Job here... I don't want to deflate you because if you do and stay at it you very may well get a job... but the odds are NO WHERE ON ANYONES SIDE....
There are only so many depts in Central florida and if you strike out here you could be trying to uproot the family again to move somewhere else in Fl or out of state chasing a job...
Do you want to put your family through this... What is more important to you...
Fire Service was not my first choice of career.. I have over $75,000 invested into being a commercial Pilot.. Flying was my dream.. As I got married and started a family I realized it was just not going to work for many reasons... I went with this after some things in my life led me here... I worked hard and lucked out... Things aligned at the right time for me...
Basically what I am saying is keep your heart and mind open... You might think this is your calling but there may be something else that may be out there that you have not discovered yet...
Anyways man... Good luck and if it's meant to be it will happen... If it does not... It was for a reason you may not even know or se eyet...
Are you volunteering anywhere? There ARE COMBO DEPARTMENTS IN CENTRAL FLORIDA. PM me if you need the scoop on some.
Originally Posted by Want2BAFF.
If you go to NC find a combo department you can be a volunteer with and join up there, get your foot in the door.
As far as classes go, take them. I'd stay away from pump ops as that is likely to be a waste of time as most departments require you to have time vested in before you are eligible to operate apparatus, same thing with fire officer classes. I'm talking about rope ops, hazmat ops, etc.
What ARE you doing to try to get a job...other than applying everywhere.