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    Default Saudi Arabia FF Jobs...

    As posted in firehouse.com, there are FF jobs in Saudi currently available. For those who might be interested, let me fill you in on some things before you apply:

    1. Your salary is tax-free, but you do pay Social Security. If you quit your job and return to the US, you have to pay taxes on your wages unless you have been outside of the US for more than 330 days.

    2. There will be NO alcohol or pornagraphy
    allowed.

    3. They take your passport from you at the airport upon arrival, you leave ONLY and IF they want you to.

    4. I had a friend who was a Fire Captain there. On his day off an alarm came in to the station. His crew decided not to respond. When he came in the next shift, he was punished because of it!

    5. Various contractors offer various contracts to firefighters. You may or maynot have housing provided, or be paid extra to find your own place. If you quit, you may have to pay your own airfare back to the US, or the cost to ship your stuff back.

    Just a few things to think about...

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    Default

    Originally posted by devildog4:

    2. There will be NO alcohol or pornagraphy
    allowed.


    AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!



    Ohh Rah

    [ 11-05-2001: Message edited by: Mike DeVuono ]
    Mike DeVuono
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    These are my opinions and not those of my department.

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    I highly doubt anyones gonna wanna go over there and fight fires..since after all what just happened... I find it funny they ask us for help after what just happened. I know its not in the same country but its still in the middle east and the tensions are high in that area.... I wonder how many people are actually gonna apply??
    Andrew
    Firefighter/EMT
    New Jersey

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    There are many 'service companies' that operate overseas. Especially in Saudi Arabia -- they have too much oil $$$$ - they don't know what to do with it all....
    It is not uncommon for them to hire foreigners to come into the country and operate the oil fields- and train their military.

    As for what was mentioned about them having you surender your passport -- that is illegal, and violates just about every international treaty. I had the pleasure of working with the State Department, while stationed overseas with the Marine Corps at two of our nations embassies. (Pretoria, South Africa, and Damascus, Syria)

    If an individual were to lose - or be forced to surrender their passport (which is illegal) - then all they would have to do is go to the nearest embassy or consulate- and the consular officer their would issue the person a new passport.

    The civillian passport that I now maintain was issued to me by the American Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa - through the American Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    Trust me -- many a dark evening - I was the Marine on duty at the Embassy when a tired, angry, confused American citizen came in asking for help.

    [ 11-06-2001: Message edited by: FF McDonald ]
    Marc

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    Quick history - did the Saud tour as a Lt and a Capt at King Abdulaziz Airport FD (Jeddah) - have an extensive amount of info on doing the job if someone is really thinking about it. Now - in responses:


    Devildog: 2. There will be NO alcohol or pornagraphy allowed.
    -- ---Yeah right - you must hot have spent time with the Brits there.

    . They take your passport from you at the airport upon arrival, you leave ONLY and IF they want you to.
    --- answered by McDonald (we did the same thing).

    4. I had a friend who was a Fire Captain there. On his day off an alarm came in to the station. His crew decided not to respond. When he came in the next shift, he was punished because of it!
    -- I am VERY curious which agency he worked for and what Nationality his crew was..reason: Yes the Muslim TCNs would pray daily while on shift - but even then the fire response would eventually be filled.

    It sounds like you had some bad experiences with contractors - I saw the Brits and Aussies get screwed on what you listed but I never saw one American shorted on housing, etc.

    Drop me a line - I am curious where you were...

    Steve

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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Engine58:
    I highly doubt anyones gonna wanna go over there and fight fires..since after all what just happened... I find it funny they ask us for help after what just happened.

    The Saudis aren't asking us for help. This job is with a U.S. company that has a contract with the Departemnt of Defense. You'll be protecting U.S., Saudi, British and French assets.

    skuehl34 has the best information on this. I was there in the military. We weren't allowed to go to the British Compound so the no alcohol thing sucked. Damn Mattawah.

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    Ok, here it goes -

    1. Saudi Arabia usually is in excess of 120 degrees in the summer. Not fun to fight fire in.
    2. There equipment is very poorly maintained. They have very substandard PPE, and are unequipped to handle many domestic emergencies.
    3. About 99% of the entire country is third world. The wealthy people don't even live there.
    4. Housing is incredibly substandard also. Hope you like large rats, stray animals with various diseases,(saudi does not require it's animals to be vaccinated), and sand fleas, scorpions, and camel spiders.
    5. Most native Saudi's don't like Americans. Bet you didn't know that.

    Basically, I would do anything to encourage somebody not to take a job over there. You would regret it tenfold.
    Trust me, I've been there three times. (USAF)
    Mike

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    They offered me a Driver/Operator slot there. Had to turn them down, too big a pay cut, even with the tax free (less Social Security).

    I wish them luck in filling the spots.

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    Jollyroger,

    What is this contractor paying? When I was there in '92 the Chief was making over $100,000. I'm not sure about the other positions.

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    I just filled out their questionare on the job openings. I did it just to see what it would be like and to find out more info like pay rate, time off, working conditions, etc. Sounds like it is no party, that's for sure.

    I've heard before that native Saudi's don't like Americans. Not sure if that would be pleasureable to work with. I thought it might be cool for a single guy like me to go and see the world but now I'm not sure. I really don't want to work at a place where you gotta keep looking over your shoulder to see who is going to shoot you in the back. Things sound pretty tense over there right now.

    Thanks for the information and insight!

    Keep your head down and your powder dry!
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  11. #11
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    $31k to start, add travel expenses at $3600, overtime (figure about a 1/4 of your salary) that brings it to 39 or 40k.

    Thanks but no thanks. Best of luck to whomever goes.

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    OK - lets go with some good news. The tour helped me a great deal - aside from the negatives - both personally and professionally. I completely understand the negatives from the military points of view listed here - when I finally did get into the consulate after being there for awhile - I truly felt sorry for those Marines. I'll save that for later - also envied that they got to see and live things the American way once inside those walls.

    The heat is bearable because you are always in an ACd area - if not you usually aren't out for long. The nights are awesome. Jeddah is the West Coast of KSA like West Coast is here in US. More beaches, more partying, more women, LOTS of women from all over the world, more freedoms, less matawah (religous police) and so on. Traveling and the history are great - some cool ruins and incredible deals on antiques and gold.

    The food is good - I would love to be able to find an authentic shwarma here in the US - if you go there find the best reputed street vendor of shwarmas and you'll be hooked.

    Salaries - commensurate with Nationality and experience and rank. Chiefs will make upwards of 50-60K working for the Airports and much more for the American compunds. Same with Captains and up - D/Os, Lts and FFs are not allowed to be of first world countries at the Airports - so if you are applying for a DO or Capt it SHOULD be for a compound. Much more info on that....

    The experience is well worth it if you are looking to acquire something in your background that hardly anyone else has when you are trying to get hired here - every chief's interview I had after I came back, that trip was the hot topic. It is what I feel got me hired finally. If you can handle the year out of your life for seeing the sites and living the lie (save that for a personal email) do it...

    As far as the
    I really don't want to work at a place where you gotta keep looking over your shoulder to see who is going to shoot you in the back
    -- I never once feared for my safety due to violence. There were plenty of cops around with guns and assorted military personnel - as far as the Sauds - you learn to ignore them as they do you..If you end up working on a an American compound - that will be the least of your worries...

    I'll cut it short at that - BTW - I was there when the raids and battles were going on in Mog - never spilled over to Jeddah towards Americans that I saw - I know now is more potent - but the American military is in every city there - and there is always a group of Marines not far away. And trust me - the fire service is not a target to the "terrorists" over there - we are considered scum and unimportant.

    Steve

    [ 11-06-2001: Message edited by: skuehl34 ]

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    Oh, yeah, and don't forget...if you're a female firefighter, don't bother applying.

    Those nutty old friendly neihborhood Saudis frown on women actually *working*.
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

    Joe Black

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    I forgot another story from Saudi...

    My old Chief worked there for a number of years in the mid-80's putting together the Fire Service system directly for the Prince.
    He related one incident where he was involved in an accident while riding in a taxi. The taxi driver was clearly not at fault, they got hit by another vehicle. But, he had to run and get out of there, the Saudi's would have considered him "guilty" just because he was the one who hired the taxi! Strange legal system I think?!

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    Ok, here is a quick question.

    I'm a female, would I have to wear a veil while fighting a fire or would my mask and nomex count as body covering?
    Bless all of our Fallen Brothers and Sisters. You will not be forgotten

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    Hey Steve,

    I got a call from one of the recruiter guys yesterday. I'm supposed to fax my resume to him on Friday or Saturday. He said my salary would be $55,000 and I would get a $3600 "moving fund". I would stay at the barracks on the compound with all the other American employees and have all my meals paid for as well. This compound is about 80 some buildings and has a population of about 800-900 employees on site just outside of Rhijad(spelling?). He said he is looking to fill about 20 open spots in the fire dept that was covered by Air Force regulars who will be leaving shortly. The area is not "hostile" because we would be on a compound outside of town. We would have to watch ourselves at least a little in the city when and if we went or anytime travelling outside the compound but he said it's not bad at all. They frown on drinking, it's against their religion, and you better not get caught drunk outside the compound or you will be in serious trouble I guess. 55K isn't nothing to sneeze at but not enough for me to give up what I have going right here working for the city. I have that gut feeling that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

    Stay safe and keep your powder dry!


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    I was in touch with one of Vinnell's recruiters. He told me the salary was around $55,000, I would be working in Rihyad serving the active duty military and govt. employees who work in the US Embassy. He said it was a walled-in city within a city. Also said it was a cushy job (no fire).

    No alcohol-what's a Fireman and a Marine supposed to do?

    I am sure I will not take the job.
    The above is my opinion only, it doesn't reflect that of any dept./agency I work for, am a member of, or deal with. Also, I do not intend to bash anyone, I'm just stating what I do, and have seen. If anyone is offended I apologize.

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    This my friends is exactly why I left the Marine Corps -- better pay on the outside...

    But I am still in the Reserves -- (hey I'm not entirely stupid -- 8 years in- 12 years to go until I get a pension)

    Hey tillerman-- The 'no alcohol' thing isn't entirely true. There is a unique feature of Embassy duty for Marines. All of the Marines in the MSG (Marine Security Guard) Detachment live together in one house... known as The Marine House ( that's a stretch huh, ...the Marine House ).
    And--- world wide, they are known for some serious parties. And, because they are soviergn US territory -- alcohol is present.

    When I was stationed at the Embassy in South Africa, one of our new MSG's came to us from Jeddah, KSA -- and he had some wild stories about the goings-on, and the nite life...

    I dunno -- 55,000 a year - tax free (if you spend more than 350 days outside the CONUS) -- meals paid for.... I could pull a tour in the Middle East for that money...
    Marc

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    Member - IACOJ
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    -- The opinions presented here are my own; and are not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.

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    Time for some a on the q&a:
    I'm a female, would I have to wear a veil while fighting a fire or would my mask and nomex count as body covering?
    Sure - if they allowed female firefighters - but since non airport departments are civil defense - not going to happen. Airport FDs would not tolerate it - the only way in would be on the platforms or US/Brit rigs.

    better not get caught drunk outside the compound or you will be in serious trouble
    Very true..NEVER EVER drink outside the Embassy, Consulate or private compounds - EVER.

    they are known for some serious parties. And, because they are soviergn US territory -- alcohol is present.
    2nd best party I had there was at the Consulate - worried only a little bit because at least the six marines on duty could still protect us - since all of the others were, shall we say - happy. - The ONLY American plane allowed to land in Jeddah was the Consulate plane - AKA - "The Alcohol Ship" - part of that lie I wrote about earlier with the Sauds.

    I could pull a tour in the Middle East for that money...
    More than the Airports and definitely more than the Civil areas.

    Dickey - if you can take a leave or want to stash a few bucks and travel while you are over there (allowed both internally and surrounding region - usually a negotiated deal) they sometimes pay for the ticket to Europe and back for the vaca - do it. It is an extremely hard decision to leave the US and you know - but I look back at it as too quick now; had that difficulty of thinking the world would end if I left it behind - whoa, guess not.

    Riyadh is tougher though - Chop Chop Square is very real and the Matawa are a lot more populated there. Ask the recruiter about Jeddah or Dahran/Damman...both much more popular.

    Drop me a line if you are thinking about it (for those two that talked with the recruiter) because I am very objective about the info - recruiters tend to have a motivation - MONEY , and we can talk.

    Steve

    [ 11-09-2001: Message edited by: skuehl34 ]
    skuehl34@aol.com

    [ 11-09-2001: Message edited by: skuehl34 ]

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    I went to Dahran once and they sure don't like women - so don't worry that your missing out on anything if you are a fire-woman and you can't apply. The guys had a lot of fun while I just got glowered at. We went to Saudi specifically to raid the Tacco Bell since we were stationed in Bahrain and craving some Americana. I waited in a huge long line to place my order and when I made it to the counter I was told, "We don't serve women over here! You have to go to the family section!" I was ready to grow fangs and glowing red eyes but I realized: When in Rome, do as the Romans! I went into the family section and as soon as the women saw me they glared at me and yanked their veils over their faces. I ended hunkering down in a distant corner wolfing down my taccos so I could get away from there! I felt like the Devil Incarnate!
    I wonder if they ever have firefighter jobs in Bahrain? That is a nice place and much more relaxed then Saudi Arabia! That includes women, alchohol, the way you dress, religion, and NO religious police!

    [ 11-09-2001: Message edited by: Michelle Ann ]
    Probie Name: HurryUpMichelle!!

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    Guys - PLEASE listen to me. I'm sure I sound quite biased against the country, but hear me out.
    I was stationed in Rihyad for 122 days this last spring. You do not want to be there. The compound is very small, You CANNOT drink, and your security is certainly jeopardized. In the four months I was there, there were a total of 5 americans killed by car bombs, and various other means of attacks in the city. Not to mention an American doctor who had his hands blown off when he opened a letter bomb. The Saudi's DO NOT like us being there. And in the wake of all that is going on over there now, you'd be a fool to try to enter the country. Remember, there are Bin Laden followers all over Saudi, and there main duty is to kill Americans. No questions asked. Bin Laden has even offered 1 million dollars for proof that they killed an American.
    Basically what I'm saying is, in the time I was there, I felt very unsafe. I was quite afraid to go downtown at all. At least in Rihyad. Remember, this is the country where they still cut off peoples heads in public for breaking the law.
    Mike

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    It sounds more and more like Saudi is NOT the place to work as a contract-firefighter!
    When I started this topic, it was just to give some advice to anybody thinking of applying fopr the Saudi jobs...

    I can share with you folks that there are ALOT of places overseas that hire contract-
    firefighters. I worked in Micronesia as a FF/EMT for 5 years, and before I signed the contract it would have been nice to have known more info.

    I know of contract-firefighter jobs in Micronesia, Antartica, Kosovo, Hungary, Antiqua and Saudi. Several guys I worked with in Micronesia went to Kosovo and Hungary. They are geting almost $7,000 per month!, but they are in danger of getting killed or seriously injured constantly.

    Antartica is a six month contract, pays about $23,000 for that period I think.

    Micronesia pays about $35,000 with the O/T and it is a year contract.

    Kosovo and Hungary are both NATO/UN bases where the US Air Force stopped the Structure/Crash/Fire protection, and it then went to private contract.

    Antiqua you are a FF/Security Guard/Baggage Handler!

    Beware of companies that offer overseas employment. They charge you for contacting and applying for the job. I saw the ad for my Micronesia FF job in Firehouse magazine!
    It did not cost me anything to apply! Another guy that they hired paid $450 to a New York firm to find out/apply for the same job!

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    I am not going to apply becuase I think I will end up in Afghanistan before Christmas time.

    Ryan
    Semper Fi!
    The above is my opinion only, it doesn't reflect that of any dept./agency I work for, am a member of, or deal with. Also, I do not intend to bash anyone, I'm just stating what I do, and have seen. If anyone is offended I apologize.

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    Sounds like Saudi Arabia is a lot like our department - except our executions are held in private, not in public.

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