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Thread: looking for advice on moving to Colorado

  1. #1
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    Default looking for advice on moving to Colorado

    Hello, I currently live in Missouri and have recently been given a conditional thumbs up by my wife to move to Colorado. Basically it rests on my step-son finishing high school here because she feels she moved her kids around enough when she was in the military. So basically we're within 5 years of it being a real possibility. I know 5 years away might seem like i'm jumping the gun a little, but I want to get my ducks in a row and make sure i'm one of the stronger candidates when the time comes. Now i've done some research and read plenty of threads on here, but I still have some questions and seeking advice for my particular situation.

    So my situation is this: I'm currently 37, which would put me at around 40 when I start putting in applications out there. I have been a paramedic for 5+ years and have worked urban/inner city and i've worked rural, I have completed a critical care class, FF I/II, and I'm currently trying to get on as a volunteer at a local FD.

    I have a strong EMS background and I love being a paramedic, so I am most interested in departments/districts that operate at the ALS level whether or not they run their own transports or not. Also, are there any places that my age would be an issue or any places that are more likely than others to hire someone in my age range? Other than that, would more education make a real impact during the hiring process? and if so, what would be better, to work towards a degree or work towards earning technician level training such as hazmat tech or the different rescue training? Any advice on what I can do that would help me be a top candidate would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks


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    Obvious one

    Start a bookmark list of every fire department that has a web site that tells you the basics needed just to apply

    If you see you are missing something get it

    Can also check on age limits

    Would also suggest even if you are not applying, if they have a job interest card fill it out , will kind of show how often they test

    Not sure but do not think co has any ff cert, but look into it and see if what you have transfers or what you have to do to transfer


    Should not have to tell you to stay out of any trouble

    Go to any training available
    Last edited by fire49; 11-06-2012 at 09:59 AM.

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    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdean75 View Post
    Also, are there any places that my age would be an issue or any places that are more likely than others to hire someone in my age range? Other than that, would more education make a real impact during the hiring process? and if so, what would be better, to work towards a degree or work towards earning technician level training such as hazmat tech or the different rescue training?
    Hey, welcome to the forum.

    As far as I know there are no depts with official cut off ages in Colorado. "Unofficially" they may, but I have heard of guys getting hired into their 40s at plenty of places. I could be overlooking one, but none of the larger ones that I know of. I'm sure someone will be quick to correct me if I'm wrong.

    As far as the education, my personal experience is that it doesn't help all that much like maybe some other states (CA comes to mind), but it can't hurt. I have my BS in an unrelated field, but I haven't seen it come up during any of my testings.

    They like paramedics out here, so you have that going for you already. Also tech certs will help too, but they aren't the golden ticket that they may be in other states or with smaller depts. There are also a few depts here that do hiring for paramedics only, so again you have a leg up.

    Maybe someone else will chime in shortly with their thoughts.

    One last thought: A lot of the depts and guys testing are really fit out here (I think we are one of the top fittest states and that carries over into the FD for sure). I know that I'm generalizing and that there are plenty that aren't, but since you've got some time maybe work fitness into your prep if you haven't already. Just my opinion...

    Best of luck with your plans.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yjbrody View Post
    Hey, welcome to the forum.

    As far as I know there are no depts with official cut off ages in Colorado. "Unofficially" they may, but I have heard of guys getting hired into their 40s at plenty of places. I could be overlooking one, but none of the larger ones that I know of. I'm sure someone will be quick to correct me if I'm wrong.

    As far as the education, my personal experience is that it doesn't help all that much like maybe some other states (CA comes to mind), but it can't hurt. I have my BS in an unrelated field, but I haven't seen it come up during any of my testings.

    They like paramedics out here, so you have that going for you already. Also tech certs will help too, but they aren't the golden ticket that they may be in other states or with smaller depts. There are also a few depts here that do hiring for paramedics only, so again you have a leg up.

    Maybe someone else will chime in shortly with their thoughts.

    One last thought: A lot of the depts and guys testing are really fit out here (I think we are one of the top fittest states and that carries over into the FD for sure). I know that I'm generalizing and that there are plenty that aren't, but since you've got some time maybe work fitness into your prep if you haven't already. Just my opinion...

    Best of luck with your plans.

    Any fd/ employment web sites particular to Colorado fire jobs???

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    Ok yjbrody, so correct me if i have this wrong. As I understand what you're saying there is no "golden ticket" per se, that in and of itself would put one candidate in a higher standing than another. And age basically is not an issue as long as you are physically fit and can do the job. What about political affiliations or contacts within a given FD (such as the chief's son's best friend's uncle)? Do the hiring processes tend to be honest and fair or does there tend to be a lot of nepotism as there is here? I'm just trying to get a feel for how things are out there because it's anything but fair here. Obviously off the record, but I have heard numerous firefighters around here tell prospective candidates that if they don't have any contacts within a given FD they should move because they'll never get a job in this area. I really hope that's not the case out there and the vibe I get, is that it is not the case.

    Thank you for your advice, and I have recently re-started working on my fitness as it sounds like it's pretty competitive out there. And as an afterthought, I just want to put it out there that i'm not looking to run away from this area and "settle" for an area where it's easier to land a FF job. Colorado has been on my radar since before I even knew my wife and i've had several people who were stationed there in the military just go on about how much they loved it there. So hopefully with early preparation I can achieve my goals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdean75 View Post
    What about political affiliations or contacts within a given FD (such as the chief's son's best friend's uncle)? Do the hiring processes tend to be honest and fair or does there tend to be a lot of nepotism as there is here? I'm just trying to get a feel for how things are out there because it's anything but fair here. Obviously off the record, but I have heard numerous firefighters around here tell prospective candidates that if they don't have any contacts within a given FD they should move because they'll never get a job in this area. I really hope that's not the case out there and the vibe I get, is that it is not the case.
    I don't think here with the testing is the case. I have heard people say that here. But honestly what I think is many people use that as an excuse to why they can't get on a dept.

    Testing for many big depts have changed over the years. I think nepotism still exists mostly in smaller depts.
    RIP Hela

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    Nothing wrong with moving to an area/ state that say has more openings or less rules to get a job

    Just the way firefighting jobs have been for 30 years or more. Some places have residency qualifiers, some have thousands applying for a few slots

    If co does not work at come on down to Tx, and almost a guaranty hire with your training


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

    I would say any training / college buts you a step ahead of someone without

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Any fd/ employment web sites particular to Colorado fire jobs???
    It sounds like he's already ahead of the game with checking dept's websites, but he could also look into DRCOG (Denver Regional Council of Governments). It's a one stop shop to test with a bunch of Denver area depts (15 according to the website). Take one test and all the depts that use the test can pull applicants off the list when they are hiring. I would check it out for sure: http://www.drcog.org/index.cfm?page=FIRE
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipys View Post
    I don't think here with the testing is the case. I have heard people say that here. But honestly what I think is many people use that as an excuse to why they can't get on a dept.

    Testing for many big depts have changed over the years. I think nepotism still exists mostly in smaller depts.
    Yeah I agree with Tipys. Smaller maybe, but larger depts I don't think so.

    Edit: Oh and you mentioned military, but don't say if have time served. That helps too since most places give military preference pts.

    BTW, where are you in MO? I lived in STL for about 10 years. Just curious where you might be talking about.
    Last edited by yjbrody; 11-07-2012 at 10:31 AM.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yjbrody View Post
    Edit: Oh and you mentioned military, but don't say if have time served. That helps too since most places give military preference pts.

    BTW, where are you in MO? I lived in STL for about 10 years. Just curious where you might be talking about.
    No I was not in the military, I was referring to the time my wife served. Also, I live in the STL area.

    Quote Originally Posted by yjbrody View Post
    It sounds like he's already ahead of the game with checking dept's websites, but he could also look into DRCOG (Denver Regional Council of Governments). It's a one stop shop to test with a bunch of Denver area depts (15 according to the website). Take one test and all the depts that use the test can pull applicants off the list when they are hiring. I would check it out for sure: http://www.drcog.org/index.cfm?page=FIRE
    Yes, actually I have already found that website and reviewed the information and plan on utilizing that when the time comes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipys View Post
    I don't think here with the testing is the case. I have heard people say that here. But honestly what I think is many people use that as an excuse to why they can't get on a dept.

    Testing for many big depts have changed over the years. I think nepotism still exists mostly in smaller depts.
    That's good to hear and kind of what I suspected would be the case ... that it exists in smaller departments but not as much in the larger departments, which is where my interest is anyway.

    Thank you all for the information, it definitely gives me an idea of how things are and gives me the hope that I can get a fair shake at a spot out there and drive to prepare myself for it.

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    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdean75 View Post
    Also, I live in the STL area.
    Cool, my wife and I have lots of family back there and love it there, but I've given up on pursuing a fire job back there because of the age cut off for STLFD and not having my paramedic's cert which seems like a must for the county.

    Another thought. Have you had a chance to take the Ergo FireTEAM test? If not, as part of your prep I would try to test for somebody that does use it in your area. A few of the larger depts use it out here and it's very different than just a standard written type test. Just a thought...

    If any other questions feel free to hit these forums up. There are a few guys on here that test in CO regularly (or are on already) and are really great guys that could get you most details you may need on testing with depts here.... 'cept for Tipys. He's a jerk.

    Take care
    Last edited by yjbrody; 11-09-2012 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Sounded dumb
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    I figure i'd bump this thread because I'm thinking about going out west. I'm currently a full time firefighter /emt and I wanted to know after the DRCOG test how are promotional test done out in CO? Is there a regional civil service test? I want to go out there, but I'm all worried that there isn't much room for promotion since I'm not a paramedic.

    I am waiting for my gf to finish school here in Boston, and we love CO, especially the Boulder area (she has family out there)

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    Well there are a few depts that you could lateral test with around the Denver Metro area. I would start there for sure since you are on with another dept now, however some of them require Paramedic also. If you opt to test at entry level and they employ FF/Paramedics, then they will most likely send you through the FF academy, then send you through P school after a year or so. That's how I understand it from different people and depts that I've talked to. So that wouldn't necessarily limit your promotion opportunities.

    Each dept does it's own thing, so I would suggest contacting depts or checking their web pages to see which ones might interest you and then go from there. Off the top of my head Aurora, West Metro and South Metro come to mind, but I'm sure there are others that could fit what you are looking for. These don't participate in the DRCOG, but rather do their own testing.

    If it's DRCOG specific depts that you are asking about, I don't have much experience with those and how they do things, so you are better off contacting them directly and just inquiring. Hope this helps.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Hey there, can't say much about the departments here yet just moved here myself.......but can say from what I've seen in my research there is a lot of opportunity here.....there seems to be some question about people's ability to get hired in Denver so far....just what I've heard....but all in all Colorado is a great place! We look forward to another good paramedic here! Good luck.
    spdcrazy likes this.

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