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Thread: Does Fire Academy Name Matter?

  1. #1
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    Default Does Fire Academy Name Matter?

    So my question is, does it matter what fire academy an individual attends? I know a cert is a cert, but as far as the reputation/name of the academy and the overall experience... will this affect me?

    I live in Southern California (South Riverside County) and I am trying to decide what academy I should attend. The closest in proximity to me that I am considering are Moreno Valley College, Palomar, and San Pasqual. San Pasqual has one this Summer that starts on June 3rd, which would be cool timing wise, but I've heard mixed reviews (mostly from people who haven't attended.) MVC and Palomar are both solid choices from what I have heard, but if anyone has any insight on either I'd appreciate the advice.

    Thanks guys.


  2. #2
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    I guess thats all relative to your needs. If all youre are trying to obtain is your FF 1 and 2 then not really. Youll have the certification as long as the academy youre attending is ceritified.
    Are you planning on staying in Cali? Is Cali and IFSAC or Proboard state? Is the state you plan on going to an IFSAC or Proboard state? How much hands on do you want? How much experience do you want from your intstructors? Do you plan on working for a large department, if so many have their own academies and thereby null and void yours in a sense?

    My thing is always do your research about whats best for you. Maybe a fire academy isnt even necessary yet. DO you volunteer anywhere? Think about all those things and more and then I am sure an intelligent man of your sorts will come up with the best choice for himself. Good luck brother
    sorry for any spelling mistakes

  3. #3
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    As have been mentioned in other posts, there are departments that prefer that folks testing have no experience, training or certifications so that they will not have to undo any previous training while they try to install thier techniques. In addition, many times previous training and certifications will not be considered in the hiring process.

    Again, as has been mentioned over and over, research where you want to be hired and found out if the expense of an academy is truly needed.
    BeachFFOBX likes this.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    As have been mentioned in other posts, there are departments that prefer that folks testing have no experience, training or certifications so that they will not have to undo any previous training while they try to install thier techniques. In addition, many times previous training and certifications will not be considered in the hiring process.

    Again, as has been mentioned over and over, research where you want to be hired and found out if the expense of an academy is truly needed.
    LAFireEducator,

    I disagree with you. Previous EMS, Fire experience, Emergency Experience, Volunteer Experience, Certifications and education all show that you are dedicated. It shows that you put in effort.

    I agree with you that departments want candidates to perform and do things the way their agency wants. In your oral interview this is where you lay it down that you are willing to learn the way their agency does things.

    Experience education and certifications are usually desired.

  5. #5
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    Let me preface by saying that I too live and work in Southern California. I had this exact same conversation recently with a candidate. Here is what I told him. First and foremost, make certain the academy is approved by the California State Fire Marshal. If it's not, you will NOT be able to take the entry level exam for any department that requires an entry level academy. In my region every department requires a basic fire academy just to qualify to take the entry level exam.

    So, depending on where you want to work, the academy you choose to attend may or may not have significance. Let me better explain. In the LA/Orange County region the academies are El Camino, Palomar, Santa Ana, Riverside, Rio Hondo, Crafton Hills, and Mount SAC. Our firefighters teach at the academies and we are pretty familiar with the instruction that is delivered. Once you expand the geography and get out further from these "local" academies, the familiarity is not quite the same. I am not saying that the value of a graduation certificate is not as good by any means. What I am saying is that the interviewers will be wondering about the quality of instruction regarding a place they are not familiar with.

    A good rule of thumb is to attend an academy where you want to work. If you goal is to work in that region of the state then the local firefighters who are on the panel will certainly be familiar with the academy. The further you travel, the less familiar they will be.

    On the subject of departments not wanting applicants who have training I so disagree with this. I could NEVER imagine telling an aspiring firefighter to avoid getting any training or education.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulLepore View Post
    Let me preface by saying that I too live and work in Southern California. I had this exact same conversation recently with a candidate. Here is what I told him. First and foremost, make certain the academy is approved by the California State Fire Marshal. If it's not, you will NOT be able to take the entry level exam for any department that requires an entry level academy. In my region every department requires a basic fire academy just to qualify to take the entry level exam.

    So, depending on where you want to work, the academy you choose to attend may or may not have significance. Let me better explain. In the LA/Orange County region the academies are El Camino, Palomar, Santa Ana, Riverside, Rio Hondo, Crafton Hills, and Mount SAC. Our firefighters teach at the academies and we are pretty familiar with the instruction that is delivered. Once you expand the geography and get out further from these "local" academies, the familiarity is not quite the same. I am not saying that the value of a graduation certificate is not as good by any means. What I am saying is that the interviewers will be wondering about the quality of instruction regarding a place they are not familiar with.

    A good rule of thumb is to attend an academy where you want to work. If you goal is to work in that region of the state then the local firefighters who are on the panel will certainly be familiar with the academy. The further you travel, the less familiar they will be.

    On the subject of departments not wanting applicants who have training I so disagree with this. I could NEVER imagine telling an aspiring firefighter to avoid getting any training or education.

    Thank you all! I really appreciate the responses.

    Chief Lepore, thank you for offering a reputable input on my situation. I really value your advice, especially considering the fact that you are familiar with Southern California.

    After considering the advice of many individuals (including you all on the form) and doing more research, I have decided to pass on San Pasqual, as it is only a local academy. Instead, I plan on applying and hopefully attending either Palomar and RCC's Fire Academy in the fall of 2013!

    Thank you all again!

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