1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default Help, where to start

    Hey guys, I made a thread in the intro section, but figured I might get more responses here for my questions. Just to fill some of you in, ive been in the navy for 5 years as a SWCC, and have 1 year left. I want to get into firefighting when I get out.

    Some questions I have:
    One of my main concerns about signing up for the academy now is where I want to live. I grew up in Fresno california, but right now live down in Mississippi. I like living here, so I was thinking about trying to get into the fire academy at LSU in Baton rouge. If I decide to move, do the certifications transfer pretty well to other states?

    Also, Im not sure if most of you were living with the parents when you went through or what, but how hard is it to work another job while going through the academy? Ive been told I can use my GI bill which will give me some money, but it will be a huge culture shock going from a decent salary to nearly nothing for a while.

    Ive been told the best thing to help you get a job after is volunteering beforehand. Im deploying again very soon and I have a very packed schedule until then. what else can I do to set myself up for success?

    Thats all I can think of now, but I appreciate any information you guys can feed me.
    thanks.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    FiremanLyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    948

    Default

    Without researching your situation, here is the skinny.

    Certifications; Check if the training gives you an IFSAC seal. IFSAC (International Fire Service Accreditation Council) holds the training to an NFPA standard that is recognized in a majority of states. You can transfer your certification between these states. Then the question is what state do you want to go to and will the certs transfer. Texas is an IFSAC state, a lot of people from other states come here to get the training and go home with it.

    Also look into EMT or Paramedic certs, the National Registry is much the same system.

    You can live off the GI Bill when getting your academy and EMT, I think you need to go to an accredited type school (LSU, TAMU's TEEX, many community colleges) to use it. One year of training will get you the fire academy and EMT-B, longer for most Paramedic programs. Living off it will be tight, I held a part time job as a substitute teacher while I was in EMT school.

    During the job search afterwards, take the first thing you can get, secure a job and then hunt for the dream job. If you're lucky enough to get the dream job off the bat, great, but take the first reasonable thing you can get so you start working, not live off debt or mommy, and keep your certifications.

    Depending on where you are volunteering doesn't really matter. You will get no points for it at a civil service department and it will not help you in the interview (actually, they will worry that they will have to untrain you from bad habits). Other places, like smaller Emergency Services Districts, or combo departments, they often pull their volunteers into paid positions when there is an opening.

    Good luck man.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    texas usa
    Posts
    244

    Default

    Almost each state is different on accepting another states certs/academy

    Would suggest research a few states you might want to live in and check what the transfer policy is

    Also check some of the dept web sites to see what the minimum requirements are

    More than likely shoot for emt cert first paramedic if possible


    Are you married??

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    Without researching your situation, here is the skinny.

    Certifications; Check if the training gives you an IFSAC seal. IFSAC (International Fire Service Accreditation Council) holds the training to an NFPA standard that is recognized in a majority of states. You can transfer your certification between these states. Then the question is what state do you want to go to and will the certs transfer. Texas is an IFSAC state, a lot of people from other states come here to get the training and go home with it.

    Also look into EMT or Paramedic certs, the National Registry is much the same system.

    You can live off the GI Bill when getting your academy and EMT, I think you need to go to an accredited type school (LSU, TAMU's TEEX, many community colleges) to use it. One year of training will get you the fire academy and EMT-B, longer for most Paramedic programs. Living off it will be tight, I held a part time job as a substitute teacher while I was in EMT school.

    During the job search afterwards, take the first thing you can get, secure a job and then hunt for the dream job. If you're lucky enough to get the dream job off the bat, great, but take the first reasonable thing you can get so you start working, not live off debt or mommy, and keep your certifications.

    Depending on where you are volunteering doesn't really matter. You will get no points for it at a civil service department and it will not help you in the interview (actually, they will worry that they will have to untrain you from bad habits). Other places, like smaller Emergency Services Districts, or combo departments, they often pull their volunteers into paid positions when there is an opening.

    Good luck man.
    ok, so i looked on LSU's website and it says they are an accredited IFSAC school. How would I check to see if other states and departments accept that cert? It seems I keep hearing a lot of people say I need to get EMT-B at a minimum to get a good job so I will have to look into this as well. Just out of curiosity, does being an EMT on top of a fire fighter pay more? Or just makes it easier to get a job? I couldnt find what the average days time frame is for their academy either. I saw EMT was like 6-10pm 2 nights a week, but im guessing the fire academy would be longer days? You also say that volunteering could possibly hurt me. most people say that it is one of the best helpers to get hired. So I dont really understand this part.



    Quote Originally Posted by fire5555 View Post
    Almost each state is different on accepting another states certs/academy

    Would suggest research a few states you might want to live in and check what the transfer policy is

    Also check some of the dept web sites to see what the minimum requirements are

    More than likely shoot for emt cert first paramedic if possible


    Are you married??
    Right now I am looking at Louisiana, Texas or California as the areas that I would want to live.

    I see that I need to buy different gear for the courses, is that something that normally gets purchased through the academy? Or where would I buy all of this stuff? Does it matter what course I do first? or should I take whatever has the course dates that fit my schedule best? Not married, have a GF thats from here though.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    texas usa
    Posts
    244

    Default

    texas is more than likely your best state to get hired in, if you read the ca posts, it sounds like they are overrun with firefighters and not to many cities hiring

    in tx best to get paramedic

    if you check this web site weekoly or so, you can see what the minimum requirements are for different cities


    http://www.tcfp.texas.gov/job_postings/jobs.asp

    normally emt is a longer class hour wise than the academy, and sometimes that depends on the city


    state web site:


    http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tl oc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=37&pt=13&ch=423&rl=1

    this an online academy, but you spend two weeks onsite at the end::

    http://www.trainingdivision.com/fire...ghter-academy/

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    texas usa
    Posts
    244

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    166

    Default

    I think a big factor is what size department do you want to work for? Any big city that runs its own academy will be retraining/ recerting you. So if you want to go big city, it doesn't really matter what state your certs came from. They only show your drive and determination during the interview. If you want small town/ depts. then do you're homework. I'm out west here and everything in California needs to be California FF 1 for the smaller depts. I've heard they'll convert out of state certs but don't know that to be true or not. Hope this helped and good luck!

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default

    hmm, im in a bit of a pickle here then. but at least I feel like I have a start. thanks for the help guys. I really appreciate it.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default

    i have another question. i am wanting to stay in the navy reserves. how difficult will that make it to get hired since I will still have another commitment? Im not sure about the rest of the military, but because of my job I have more control over moving my drill time around to be able to knock that out when I want rather than having to do it on a certain date.

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    texas usa
    Posts
    244

    Default

    I think they are required to give you time off

    Now would someone hold that against you in the hiring process ????

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default

    just wondering if someone would not hire me over someone else because it could mean time that other people are having to pick up my slack if I am gone. Just wondering if it might be thought of as an inconvenience to the dept.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    108

    Default

    Havoc-

    Here's the rundown from my perspective:

    1. You should be following a step by step process to GETTING HIRED as soon as you get your EMT certification which should take you 1 college semester. If you can do an accredited academy/EMT at the same time...Even better. You've got to understand that you're going to be applying for an entry-level position. The requirements are generally very broad (18, drivers licensce, etc.) plus EMT certification and occasionally (more so in CA) FF1. What you need to do is get these things and immediately start testing/mastering the testing process. (You can use this: http://www.gethiredbyfire.com/how-to...a-firefighter/ It's totally free just by registering...)

    2. Although Louisiana is a great place, Texas and California might be better spots for career firefighters overall in terms of your ability to make a decent living financially.

    3. Yes, its highly competitive in California, but really its highly competitive just about everywhere. California tends to require more of you now, but even that's not universal. (EMT, FF1, etc.)

    4. Volunteering is great for an addition to your resume, but its absolutely not a requirement. If the department is known for hiring from their volunteer pool, they're looking to hire in the next two years...It moves up in the priority list, but otherwise its down the list a bit, BUT FIRMLY ON THE LIST. I disagree, by the way, with it ever being "a bad thing" unless you make it one by mistaking your volunteer experience for a reason to be cocky. You don't strike me as that candidate.

    5. The good news is that there are WAY more jobs than people think right now. California has 139 listings of paid full/part time and volunteer. Texas has 145. The gov't and free sites don't catch many of the jobs out there, so don't get discouraged.


    Hope this helps,

    Paul
    PaulC
    FF/EMTP
    City of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
    gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default

    i bookmarked the link so I will give that a shot when im ready for it. im not dead set on staying in louisiana. I just like the area, and my gf lives here so its not like im in a huge hurry to move away. But if it is that much better elsewhere Im not opposed to moving. I would probably go to california since if I end up having problems I can live with my parents for a short time during the academy. But since I would much rather not do that, what kind of jobs did you guys hold while going through all this? just having the GI bill as well as my reserve pay is not going to be enough for me to live on my own without digging into savings. also, as far as online academies are concerned. are those looked down upon at all? I know you spend time at the end on site, I just dont want to spend the time and money trying to do it online to make it a little easier on me if im not getting as much out of it.
    Last edited by havok88; 03-08-2012 at 12:15 PM.

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    108

    Default

    When in doubt. Get the EMT course and certification taken care of first. If you can afford to go to an academy that does the FF1/EMT, then do both. California is big for the FF1/EMT. If you're really serious about the firefighter, then i'd stay wherever you're going to have the greatest amount of financial and moral support and travel to test from there. You've got to test AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

    I returned home to family while going through medic school. I held an EMT ER TECH first, and I worked the whole time. I worked as a medic later until I was picked up.

    Best,

    Paul
    PaulC
    FF/EMTP
    City of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
    gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default

    hey guys. just a little update. so im trying to register for the LSU fire academy starting next may. im currently deployed right now and my enlistment will be up in february. i was planning on going back to california to stay with family for most of that time before the academy rather than leasing an apartment for only 2 months because they provide housing for all the recruits. well i found out unless you are being sponsored by a fire department you must provide your own scba and ppe. well i live 120 miles away from there in a different state, so doing volunteer work during my last couple months in the navy is pretty much out of the question, and im not going to have a place to live there from mid february through may 1st. so how should i go about trying to get this stuff? just try to sign up as a volunteer after even though i will be looking for a paid position? thanks in advance for the help.

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    3,952

    Default

    You can rent the stuff, first check with the academy, and if they have no resources check online

    Or check this place
    Book work online than two weeks on site:::

    http://www.trainingdivision.com/about-us/


    Forgot you live the two weeks onsite, so you do not have to worry about a place to stay

    What state are you trying to work in????
    Last edited by fire49; 08-01-2012 at 11:54 PM.

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default

    I asked someone at the academy and they don't rent it out. I'm trying to stay in louisiana for now. Is there any way I could get a fire station to let me borrow some do you think? Or where else would I go to rent the stuff?

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    3,952

    Default

    You can call any fd and see what they say, especially if you know someone

    Are you living in la. Now, if so can you join a vol dept, and see if they will let you borrow





    http://www.houstonfiregear.com/

    http://bunkergearrental.com/home/





    Do a search for rental

    Also ask the academy what they will accept!!!!!!!!!

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Ok, well I'll probably have to talk to the dept since I will still need an SCBA. But that will help with some of the gear I'll need if I have to rent.

  20. #20
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I really think you need to figure out where you want to be. Every department is run a little differently even though they all have the same goal. Like stated in an earlier reply, most medium to big city departments are going to put you through their own academy. i just don't want you wasting time, money and energy on something that doesn't need to be done. And who really wants to go through an academy twice? Figure out some departments you like and call the administration. That will give you a starting line.

  21. #21
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default

    well after looking at advice here, as well as a guy who i am now deployed with who is also a firefighter, I am going to do EMT school first, then try to get hired by a dept and go through the academy through them. Im hoping I can try to get my command to hook me up and put me through emt before im out of the navy, but not sure if there is enough time.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Where to start?
    By biggravy in forum Federal FIRE ACT Grants & Funding
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-02-2007, 02:40 AM
  2. Where to start?
    By Nate28 in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-16-2007, 07:31 PM
  3. Don't know where to start
    By runandy in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-03-2007, 03:30 PM
  4. Where to Start
    By FDMichiganMan in forum Michigan
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-24-2005, 08:56 PM
  5. Where to start
    By Countryboy2004 in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-15-2003, 04:48 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register