1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default AD Military to Firefighter

    I am 24 y/o, and on my last few months of active duty air force, DOS Feb2015 with an Aircraft structural maintenance background. I have no lead on classes toward a fire tech degree or experience as a firefighter; however I will be starting classes for my EMT cert. in a few weeks. I have plans to move into the L.A, CA area (near Burbank).
    since my separation date exceeds the start of spring semester classes, My plans are to apply for Early Sep from the AF to be able to attend spring semester at Glendale CC to fulfill the Fire & Emergency Tech 1 Prerequisites required by El Camino community college fire academy, which is a 10 Week (m-f) or 16 week part time (T- TH & S) course. Glendale CC does offer a fire academy but for a whole year Tuesday and Thursday nights and all day Saturday and Sundays, which to be honest isn’t a route I’d really like to go.

    Separating from the military is overwhelming, because its all i know since leaving home after highschool, definitely looking to be set on the right path to becoming a firefighter. Any advice will certainly help.
    Last edited by k_cabanas; 08-07-2014 at 01:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003


    Many who are not aware of prerequisites have the common misconception that a "Firefighter I" certification from XYZ College will be acceptable in all municipalities. While it may be accepted in Location A, it may not be accepted in Location B or C.

    **YOU NEED TO RESEARCH AND UNDERSTAND** the hiring requirements for EACH municipality where you would like to apply. Many candidates apply to multiple locations. Know what they want- because if you get that degree from XYZ college they may not accept it and guess what- you just blew all that time and effort.

    Secondly: Many municipalities may not even have hiring requirements (more common on the east coast.) Simply stated- you are hired and then are run through THEIR fire academy or training program. So again, you get that degree and the apply to Location E, and they tell you "hey this degree is nice and all but we don't require it and you have to go through our school regardless......." how high would your blood pressure go?

    Sounds like you are on the right track. Remember study the requirements/prerequisites and choose your program accordingly.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  3. #3
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    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    what fwd said, find out what a city required to apply and get it.

    Calif. is very very very competative , so the best adive in any state is to test everywhere and often!!!!

    if you have to commute to a job for awhile do it, till you decide whether to move or test for other depts.

    You will do alright on the outside in the free world, the problem with a FD job is it can take awhile to get hired, getting certs, going thorugh all the testing, etc, so have a plan B!!!

    Good luck been there you will make it in the free world

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    check out LA may be a whoile bvefore they test again , and a few other cities they have their own acadmey they put you through after getting hired, if it is not to late and can get out to test.

    You can go to dept/ hr web sites and some will take a job interest card, and let you know when they are taking apps.

    also, there is suppose to be a good web site for calif job annoucments, but I do not have it.

  5. #5
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    Drax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014


    I would take every class, certification, and training opportunity you can/can afford. You will likely have to retake fire academy again, but in all honestly, not a big deal. Example: It's like going through rigorous training (like basic training) so that you know you're physically fit and can pass a pre entrance physical without any problems, and then actually having to go through basic training again when you land the job.

    Which at that point, you just got the dream job, do you really care if you have to go through basic unnecessarily making your skills EVEN better? I wouldn't worry about it. You're not going to be paying for it the second time around and you'll likely be on salary. Besides, you'll be able to get on with a volly department and actually be a firefighter while waiting to be get hired as a career firefighter. Sounds like a win to me.

    I would, also, start testing every where. Look at cities and locations you'd like to work, check out their requirements to get hired, then start getting those requirements so that you can apply. You're not going to land your first interview, or your second anyway, but it'll get you in motion and give you the understanding of the process that you need in order to be hired. I also recommend calling stations and asking to do ride alongs.

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