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  1. #1
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    Default West Coast to East Coast?

    I am not a firefighter, I was just curious about the idea. I plan on getting my EMT, Firefighter 1 Academy, FF1 cert and possibly paramedic. However would my Firefighter training mean anything on the East Coast? Would a CA Firefighter 1 cert hold any value?

    I am not sure if I would like to stay in California the rest of my life, I was just curious how common or likely it is for a California Firefighter to get a job on the East Coast like NYFD, or Boston, or anywhere really along the East Coast.

    Thanks for the help,
    -Pappaly


  2. #2
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    You have to check with each city/ state as far as what the requirements are, reciprocity, and does the department put you through their academy no matter what

    Plus, I keep reading about residency requirements just to apply at a few depts

    Do some homework, check some city dept web sites, better info there then

  3. #3
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    Thanks Fire49,
    I'll do more research on East Coast Fire depts.

    I understand that I would have to complete the departments own academy, however would a California Firefighter 1 hold any weight in the hiring process?

  4. #4
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    Maybe if you had some dept time behind it

    Or if a city/ state had reciprocity and would accept calif I.

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    Ok I gotcha. Thanks Fire49.

  6. #6
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    You should look up the requirements for each and any city that interests you. I can tell you for FDNY no previous experience counts for anything. The only way to increase your chances of getting on here are to be a veteran and able to claim veterans points, to move here and take advantage of residency points on the exam, or to become an FDNY EMT or Paramedic and take the exam as a "promotion", which is not a short term path.

    I don't know how it works in CA, but I've always had the impression that there is a lot more uniformity across the state in training and hiring requirements. On the east coast this doesn't really exist. There will be similarities between different cities in the same state, but still each city often does stuff its own way, and you would likely have to apply to each one of them separately.

  7. #7
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    As a couple of the others have posted, you need to check with the departments you'd like to apply for to see if they're recognize the certifications you will have.

    There are also two programs, IFSAC and ProBoard, which have made an effort to have their certifications recognized from state-to-state (called reciprocity). However, it's up to each state to determine if they'll accept another state's training.

    My career department requires that all new hires go through our formal 22-week academy, no matter previous certs and/or experience.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manhattan Medic View Post
    The only way to increase your chances of getting on here are to be a veteran and able to claim veterans points, to move here and take advantage of residency points on the exam, or to become an FDNY EMT or Paramedic and take the exam as a "promotion", which is not a short term path.
    Thanks Manhattan Medic. So those who are out of state who take the exam for FDNY are at a huge disadvantage? Do the residency points really make that much of a difference? Also why is the FDNY EMT route a long ordeal if you don't mind me asking?

    Thanks BoxAlarm, I am looking at different East Coast departments and their requirements.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pappaly View Post
    Thanks Manhattan Medic. So those who are out of state who take the exam for FDNY are at a huge disadvantage? Do the residency points really make that much of a difference? Also why is the FDNY EMT route a long ordeal if you don't mind me asking?

    Thanks BoxAlarm, I am looking at different East Coast departments and their requirements.
    A lot could be said about this but I will try to keep it short. On the last exam given the city estimates that anyone that scored a 97 or better has a chance of being reached, which is approximately 8500 people. If you are a nonresident, nonvet that means you HAVE TO get a 97-100 to have a chance. Each of those categories gets you 5 points added to your final score, so a veteran + resident could in theory get 110 on the exam, or say score an 89, but still end up with a 99 and a shot at the job. So it does make a big difference. Getting hired by FDNY is a long process no matter what, but for EMS I'd say it's especially tough in the sense that you have to do the necessary work to get on EMS, then come here and work for the department and really put all your eggs in one basket. If you want to just take the next exam for the hell of it you could do that while carrying on with your life wherever you are, and just be sure to sign up for the exam when it comes around. The EMS route offers much better odds of getting in, however you will also sacrifice a lot to have that chance.

    edit: example: I'm in the academy now, and it was 8 years ago that I decided that this is where I wanted to end up.

  10. #10
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    What is this NYFD you speak of??? Never heard of it. If you meant FDNY, you spelled it wrong.

    As for previous experience/training.....Most cities on the East Coast could care less where you came from, how much training you have and for the most part how many college credits or fire-service oriented degrees you have. There are no "Lateral Transfers" here like there are on the West Coast. A guy who has 10 years in the busiest engine company in FDNY has to go through the same hiring process and training to get on board with the Philadelphia Fire Department that any other Joe Schmoe who has never seen a nozzle before does. The only potential hiring preference you may get in some places are residency and veterans preference. Additionally SOME cities (FDNY for one) do have requirements for "X" amount of college credits- and it can be for anything. Some smaller cities, like in the surrounding suburbs of Philly do hire guys with previous training and experience, 99% of the time IFSAC/Pro-Board certs only are accepted.

    If you are going to spend money on classes, I suggest you go for Paramedic and look into getting hired in the South or Mid-West US.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    What is this NYFD you speak of??? Never heard of it. If you meant FDNY, you spelled it wrong.

    As for previous experience/training.....Most cities on the East Coast could care less where you came from, how much training you have and for the most part how many college credits or fire-service oriented degrees you have. There are no "Lateral Transfers" here like there are on the West Coast. A guy who has 10 years in the busiest engine company in FDNY has to go through the same hiring process and training to get on board with the Philadelphia Fire Department that any other Joe Schmoe who has never seen a nozzle before does. The only potential hiring preference you may get in some places are residency and veterans preference. Additionally SOME cities (FDNY for one) do have requirements for "X" amount of college credits- and it can be for anything. Some smaller cities, like in the surrounding suburbs of Philly do hire guys with previous training and experience, 99% of the time IFSAC/Pro-Board certs only are accepted.

    If you are going to spend money on classes, I suggest you go for Paramedic and look into getting hired in the South or Mid-West US.
    Thanks FWDbuff,
    I start EMT-1 training in April, and I am finishing up my degree. I am gonna focus on getting a job here in California, but I was just curious about the East Coast, because I don't know if I would wanna spend the rest of my life here on the West. I guess I can worry about it more when it comes to that time.

    Thanks again everyone.

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    I know one of my buddies from Seattle ( Truck 41 I believe) got a job down here in the Bay Area,CA with a smaller department because of fiancee being transferred for work. When he tested with Sacramento City and other departments when it came down to chiefs interview, all of his certs from Seattle meant nothing in California. Luckily the smaller department hired him, and is letting him get retrained in the California standards. Right now it is tough in California, I am looking in other states such as Idaho ( Boise is beautiful and great department from what I have been told.)

  13. #13
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    Greetings,

    My name is Bill Hicks and I am in my 18th year in the fire service, and currently serve as a fire chief. I am also a doctoral candidate at Eastern Kentucky University and my dissertation topic involves investigating the current status of firefighter reciprocity among the 50 states. I am seeking members of the fire service who may have experience in moving from state to state and seeking reciprocity, or recognition of certification issued by your old state, in a new state. Also, if you came from the military and sought reciprocity for DOD certificates, I would like to hear from you as well. If you have not experienced this, please forward the link below to anyone who you may know that has done this.

    For those that have such experiences, I am humbly asking you to give 5 minutes of your time to answer a short series of question found at the link below on your experiences with seeking reciprocity, or recognition when you moved from one state to another, regardless of being paid or volunteer members in your department.

    Also at the end of the survey you will have a space to share any experiences you may have had when dealing with reciprocity of fire service certifications in your department and with your state. Also feel free to forward this to any fire service member(s) who you feel would have something to say on the topic.

    Your anonymity is protected throughout the process. Just click or copy the link below to begin.

    https://ekussem.co1.qualtrics.com/SE...Z1aVMb9w1QhYtD

    Also, if you would like to share your experiences with me in more depth after taking part in the survey, please leave your email in the beginning of the comments section at the end of the survey.

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