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    Default Central FL Fire Academy

    Gentlemen/Ladies,

    Looking for an honest review on Central Fl Fire Academy. I've heard good things, but mostly it's been from people who are connected to the school. Looking for info on quality of training, reputation among local departments, ect. I plan on starting their academy consisting of EMT-B, FF1, and FF2 in May.
    Any info or advice would be great!
    Thanks!

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    Hey Reef,

    I went through the academy there in 2009. It was a great experience. You'll prob have to take the FireTeam test as an "entrance exam". You'll have pt in the mornings. It is also a paramilitary experience. I live in Colorado right now and it gave me a great foundation as it pertains to fire service culture and being the new guy in it. The traffic to and from will also be more than likely horrendous. Avoid the expressway and tolls if you can.

    Also get yourself a good rope to tie your knots with. It'll save you some heartache in the beginning.



    Funny story to add; We were eating at a local mom and pop sub shop that sold great boarshead subs for five bucks and one of the fellas ended up spitting out a band-aid that had fallen into his sandwich.... win.

    Most importantly, be prepared for a long journey. I had no idea that the academy was the first step on a very, very long walk towards a dream that I've still yet to realize.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to message me.

    Good luck!

    Michael

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    Michael,

    Thanks for the insight. I'm taking the fire team test in about two weeks. It's real hush hush as far as the content of the test but hopefully I do well. Pt in the morning? Great! No better way to start the day...
    While I love subs and especially boars head meat, I don't like used band aides.
    Any other info or opinions would be great!

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    I've heard great things about the school. I would go there if I live in FL right now. The only thing is, I've heard from folks associated with the academy that approximately half (50%!) of folks that go through CFFA get a job offer within 1 yr. Either that way a really good year, or somehow the stats were gathered wrong, I dont know. I dont think I was lied to, but I'm not sure I can believe that 50% comment.

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    Are you talking about the state Fire College in Ocala? It is a top training center, and yes FL does have some high standards. I am a retired FF from Palm Beach Co and worked for Royal Palm Beach FR prior to consolidation (30 yrs total). 2 years in the Div of Forestry prior to that. My career was split between combat and (Admin, Operations & Training). Most of the large depts in FL require a residency, state FF and PM cert to be eligible to apply. Not all depts do so don't get discouraged. FL state standards are ridged, but it puts all graduating FF's on the same knowledge page. Once state certified doesn't guarantee a job, but you are one step ahead. Also in FL you have to be an EMT for a yr before you can take your PM exam, not to say you can't go to PM school during that year. All that said you may be able to submit certifications from other states and challange FL State exams. Some depts require a new hire to go thru another training program of their own to learn dept proceedures and protocols. Hope some of this info helps. Good luck on your endevor. It's a fulfilling carreer.

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    Thanks for all the info. I guess my original post should have had some back ground info. I am a Fl resident, have been for some time. Since my end of contract in the Marines I have been attending school in pursuit of a Bachelor's degree, which I am receiving this May. I hope to make firefighting/EMS my career because the paramilitary style and opportunity to give back to the community. After reading the positive comments about CFFA I am optimistic and hopeful of my acceptance into their program. Any additional info would be great. I love reading all the personal experience, the best kind of learning!

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    Hey again... I can almost guarantee that that number of 50 percent is waaaaay off.

    My class had about 25 people in it, and only three have a job at a career fire department. One got a job cause he had a connect in a small department and then traded up to a bigger one after a year. Another legitimately got a job a few months after academy in a small department again. The third got his job just a few months ago and is in your shoes. He was like you and a former marine. The rest of the guys I'm pretty sure are still looking or have let their certs lapse due to not working in the service.

    If you are good at tests, and are able to kill the interviews, you are already a few points ahead of the dudes like me without the military background. Good luck again!

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    reef i'll shoot you a message if you turn on your PM's

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    I went through the program back in 2007 MSC-150.

    I had a great time, although at the time the EMT-B portion was separate and taught by Mid-Florida Tech across the parking lot. For me that part of the program was the only bad thing about it. And since my class was the last one to go through EMT-B at Mid-Florida tech. you wont have to go through that ordeal.
    My overall experience was exactly what I was looking for and exactly what I paid for. Since then I moved away from FL cause at the time the economy was going down and all Departments were on a hiring freeze for a few years. A word of advice, get your PROBOARD certs after for your FFI and FFII, it'll help you if decide to move out of state.

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    Thanks for the replies. I know a lot of fire schools have wait lists because so many people are flocking to this profession. What were your experiences in the admission process?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MQuinones View Post
    Hey again... I can almost guarantee that that number of 50 percent is waaaaay off.
    My class had about 25 people in it, and only three have a job at a career fire department. One got a job cause he had a connect in a small department and then traded up to a bigger one after a year. Another legitimately got a job a few months after academy in a small department again. The third got his job just a few months ago and is in your shoes. He was like you and a former marine. The rest of the guys I'm pretty sure are still looking or have let their certs lapse due to not working in the service.

    If you are good at tests, and are able to kill the interviews, you are already a few points ahead of the dudes like me without the military background. Good luck again!
    I was afraid of that. That's what I was told but someone very familiar with the program. I dont want to believe I was lied to, but it certainly made me think.

    I dont live in FL anymore, but I do want to be a FF in FL or here in NC. I just know my chances are better here in NC. Would I move back to FL? Absolutely, I'd do it tomorrow. But I'm afraid I'd move back and then not be able to get a FF job. Hearing of people letting their certs lapse because they couldn't find employment in the state in 3 years make me nervous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Want2BAFF. View Post
    Hearing of people letting their certs lapse because they couldn't find employment in the state in 3 years make me nervous.
    That's what happened to me. And thats why I decided to leave FL. Unfortunately I'm still not working for a career department I am however a member of a Volunteer FD here in Virginia that accepted my CERTS from FL thanks to PROBOARD.
    The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FirefighterPEP View Post
    That's what happened to me. And thats why I decided to leave FL. Unfortunately I'm still not working for a career department I am however a member of a Volunteer FD here in Virginia that accepted my CERTS from FL thanks to PROBOARD.

    How long had you been looking for a job before moving out of FL?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MQuinones View Post
    Hey again... I can almost guarantee that that number of 50 percent is waaaaay off.

    My class had about 25 people in it, and only three have a job at a career fire department. One got a job cause he had a connect in a small department and then traded up to a bigger one after a year. Another legitimately got a job a few months after academy in a small department again. The third got his job just a few months ago and is in your shoes. He was like you and a former marine. The rest of the guys I'm pretty sure are still looking or have let their certs lapse due to not working in the service.

    If you are good at tests, and are able to kill the interviews, you are already a few points ahead of the dudes like me without the military background. Good luck again!

    How long ago did you graduate from fire school?

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    I graduated at the end of 09 I believe. So it's been roughly two years. I moved out of Florida a few months after that and have been a volunteer since October of 2010. It's been a hell of a learning experience in so many different ways. Glad I'm able to call myself a firefighter; and even though I'm not payed for it (yet), I still consider myself a professional.
    Last edited by MQuinones; 03-02-2012 at 12:02 AM.

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    ^^^Hey man, where did you end up moving to and why? If you dont mind me asking.

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    I live in Colorado now. A lot of different reasons brought me out here. The biggest reason was getting out of a place I lived my whole life, to try new things and create opportunity. I used to work in construction management and never felt the type of satisfaction that I wanted out of life with that line of work. I got laid off because of the economy and had a chance to put myself in a position to make an idea come true. Losing that job might have been a blessing in disguise. When I moved here, there were a few departments accepting volunteer applications, so I jumped at the opportunity.

    I read somewhere that in our lives, we have an average of five dreams... things you really want to happen in your life, but may or may not have the means. This is something I have a real chance at getting, and although small, would be totally worth the effort even if it never happens, so I'm trying with everything I have in me. I heard somewhere that firefighters have a lot of heart. Landing a career spot sure is a good test of character.

    There's a lot more, but you have the idea. Feel free to PM me if you want to know more, I don't want to bore everyone or end up off-topic.

    You can call me Michael, Sir.

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    Micheal, the 3 out of 25 figure you mentioned... is that as of today, or is that figure as of the day you left FL?

    Also, check your PM box.
    Last edited by Want2BAFF.; 03-03-2012 at 10:46 AM.

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    That's from the day academy ended, to the moment I hit enter to send this message.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MQuinones View Post
    That's from the day academy ended, to the moment I hit enter to send this message.
    Wow, that's .......... not good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Want2BAFF. View Post
    How long had you been looking for a job before moving out of FL?
    I was looking for 3 years. I really wanted to stay in Florida and get on with either Lake co or Orlando but time was running out on my cert. and I decided to pack up and move to northern Va and join a VFD. It was a good decision on my part cause now I can get all the training I want for free. Which will make my resume that much better later on.
    The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FirefighterPEP View Post
    I was looking for 3 years. I really wanted to stay in Florida and get on with either Lake co or Orlando but time was running out on my cert. and I decided to pack up and move to northern Va and join a VFD. It was a good decision on my part cause now I can get all the training I want for free. Which will make my resume that much better later on.

    That's a good point.

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    Perhaps the market for FF jobs is a little better now than it was 2-3 yrs ago...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Want2BAFF. View Post
    Perhaps the market for FF jobs is a little better now than it was 2-3 yrs ago...
    Nope, not really. LOL, as we have talked about that's one of the many reasons many of us FL guys test out of state. I have been to GA, NC, and CO to test. I also am testing with 2 depts in FL, but it's quite competitive. So I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket. If I get on with a FL dept, that's great. But I'm not going to sit around and wait either :-)

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