1. #1
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    Default Air Force FD to City FD

    Hello,

    My name is Justin and I am an active duty fire fighter with the AF. I will be separating in March 2015 and want to join a city. If there is anyone that has made the jump from AF to City Dept I would love to pick your brain and get some insight on the process. I have all my ones completed and finishing up my twos. Will I be over qualified for a fire fighter position? I have also sent in my IFSAC certs to NC to be reciprocated. Any help would be great. Thanks in advance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by justin_holck View Post
    I have all my ones completed and finishing up my twos. Will I be over qualified for a fire fighter position? I have also sent in my IFSAC certs to NC to be reciprocated. Any help would be great. Thanks in advance!
    You will not be "overqualified" for a firefighter position. Most (>90%) municipal FD's couldn't care less about IFSAC certs, or prior experience in an entry-level firefighter exam. Now if you're looking to go DoD fire, they will be helpful, or if you're looking for a lateral-type job in a smaller dept.

    I'm not saying this to be an a-hole, I was prior USAF, with a nice stack of IFSAC certs, and none of that meant anything when I was testing.

    You'll be testing against 100s or 1000s of other applicants, so what will help you more than any certs is going to be veterans preference. If/when you get to the oral board, you can mention your certs and experience as away of illustrating why you would be a good candidate for a position.

    If/when you get hired, keep any thoughts/observations about how you did it in the AF to yourself, and ditch the word "overqualified" from your vocabulary.

    Good luck.

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    ARFF is TOTALLY different than structural firefighting, and expect to do a LOT more EMS with most departments. Just accept that you are going to be starting over as a rookie, with a little bit of insight.

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    I will second sfd1992, "overqualified" is a terrible word to use. Are you better at handling aircraft emergencies than most city firefighters? Sure. But are you better at forcing doors, stretching hoseline, reading fire behavior, and most of all EMS? Compared to most big cities, probably not. Where city departments differ from the AF and DOD, is that city departments often encourage people to "master their craft" prior to moving on to other positions or disciplines. It is often frowned upon in my department to promote before 4 years on the department. In addition, unless you are at a busy base like Wright-Patterson, the real world experience is often not the same (with some city engines running 20+ in 24 hours). A lot of people could obtain a multitude of certs...but that doesn't necessarily mean one is a good firefighter.

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