Thread: Firefighting in the Military
12-10-2000, 07:09 PM #1cpr4uFirehouse.com Guest
Firefighting in the Military
I am wondering about benifits of Military service to a career of Firefighting? Other than added points to Civil Service scores and discipline. What kind of oppritunities are availible in the Military? Which branch is best to enter for Firefighting? What are the minimum requirements? Where can I go for more info on Military firefighting?
Thank you all!
12-10-2000, 09:00 PM #2HHoffmanFirehouse.com Guest
I can say that the time I spent as a firefighter in the Marine Corp helped me get this job. I would say the three branches to look at would be the Marines, Air Force, and Navy. I don't think the Army has many firefighters. If you are still in school take the ASVAB and talk to the recruters. Email me if you have any questions.
12-11-2000, 09:41 AM #3FedfireFirehouse.com Guest
Active duty being what it is now, I would look to the Reserve or National Guard. Air Force has firefighting assets in both of these. The Army has active duty firefighters, and the lucky ones get assigned to a fire department. Some get assigned to an ammo unit and become "gophers". If you want active duty, the Air Force is the way to go. The Navy tells you they have firefighters, but most are "damage control technicians" that have "other duties as assigned." Marines are mostly Aircraft, but they are damn proud of what they do, and it seems they do it well. Depending on your area, the Army Reserve has quite a few firefighting units that have been activated in the past few years. Reserve wise, there's less BS than active duty, you get the same training, and two weeks out of the year, your going on active duty to actually do your mission or attend more training. I have been in the Reserve as a firefighter for 20 years. I have been to Europe, Central America, and many bases training with other firefighters. Most have been good times, with a little bad stuff thrown in (Bosnia), but it can't all be wine and roses. Like HHoffman said, the Reserve unit pretty much helped me get a job. In our unit alone, I have lost track of the amount of people who have gained full time jobs from being in the Reserves. Don't forget about the educational benefits either!
12-11-2000, 10:38 AM #4Thoe1Firehouse.com Guest
no minimum requirements.
your get allot of certifications .
and the Air Force has the most Firefighter jobs.
don't sign up until they give you a gauranteed job !!
Your doing it right if your doing it
FOR HIM !!!
The Ultimate Firehouse
T-hoe's Fire Protection Page
[This message has been edited by Thoe1 (edited 12-11-2000).]
12-11-2000, 12:16 PM #5ArmyTruckCompanyFirehouse.com Guest
If you want an excellent fire service background, go with the USAF. The only disadvantage to this is that you may be assigned to one place. If you want a fair fire service education and want to see more, go Navy.. But like FedFire said, it gets a bit more involved than just firefighting. Aviation Boswains Mates are the firefighters on board aircraft carriers. You are assigned a particular air wing, (as opposed to ship's company) and rotate with the air wing, for example if the air wing goes on an 8 month deployment aboard a carrier, you go too. But as I said, you will see a whole lot more than (as an example) being assigned to Mynot AFB, North Dakota. By the way, my name just means I am a civilian firefighter, US Army.
"Loyalty above all else, except honor."
12-11-2000, 12:21 PM #6Les.HFirehouse.com Guest
I found that my time spent in the Air Force Department Fire Service was well spent. There were many promotional courses to go on and also got the chance to attend a basic fire prevention course. That last one set me on the way in the civil fire safety world. Much better training than in the civil fire brigades. This, of course, was in the UK and before they started on the financial cut backs.
If your services are structured the same then have a go but get all relevant info from that service first. Times change for the worse, which is a shame.
Kindest regards & keep safe,
12-11-2000, 12:38 PM #7cpr4uFirehouse.com Guest
Would I still get the same number of Civil Service points with the Reserve? Does the USAF have a Reserve? What kind of opprotunities are availible in a State National Gaurd? How many years do you serve (Both active and reserve)? How would I go about finding more info, the local recruiter? What do I tell them, "I want a firefighting job in the military"? Do you get assignments in the reserve?
Thank you all for you help
12-11-2000, 07:15 PM #8RJEFirehouse.com Guest
There are more firefighters in the the Navy than just DCs. The specialty of Damage Controlman (DC) is (like the name says) the primary leaders of damage control teams on board ships. But (big but here), everyone aboard a ship is expected to help with either combat or damage control. Every member of the crew has a "battle station", be it gun mount, CIC, or in a repair locker. Since 2/3 or more of the crew may be on a repair locker team, all crew go to firefighting school (about a week's worth). DC-men are normally leaders in the repair lockers, handle training, and may serve as instructors at (shore based) FF schools. But I was an "On-Scene Leader" for the largest repair locker on my ship, despite there being 6 DC-men in the crew (of 300). The reason... 3+ years as a volunteer. Even the E-6 w/15 years in the navy had never fought an actual fire beyond a dumpster on the pier!
The neat part is, I was a DP (data processing technician). And as a vet, I'd still get the civil service test points!
12-11-2000, 10:52 PM #9McpFFFirehouse.com Guest
What about the Coast Guard Res. Do they include them too? If they give points for the reserves.
12-13-2000, 05:40 PM #10cpr4uFirehouse.com Guest
Does the military believe in "Cross-training" firefighters. What would it take to get training as a firefighter and a paramedic? Does medical training in the Military carry over to civilian life? Do you have to be one or the other? Do they provide you the all the training you want in the reserves?
Thank you all
12-13-2000, 09:01 PM #11dtjFirehouse.com Guest
The USAF is probably the way to go. IFSAC certification is required to move up and is accepted by nearly all US civilian departments. You will be Firefighter2 and HAZMAT OPS certified on completion of tech school. Here's two web sites below that can tell you lot more than I can.
01-01-2001, 02:48 PM #12rescuebillFirehouse.com Guest
ASAF is the only way to go. I was a HT in the navy for 4 years (before the rate split to DC and HT) from 84 to 88. I stood more watch, snaked more sewer lines, welded and did more plumbing then you will ever do firefighting. I did go to good schools but my life in the Navy sucked. It was a life of no sleep (on a destroyer) and constant BS,not to mention the mess duty every one has to do for 120 days in the galley. The closed quaters, no privacy, 8 hours a day of watch on top of your normal work. I'm not even going to mention the amount of time I was out to sea and then come in only to have 24 hours of duty (must stay on ship) every third day. Its a tough life!
I got out a became a Federal firefighter and worked with a bunch of ex Air force fireman. I used to listen to them talk about their dorm rooms and good food. Their nice Air force base with raquetball, softball, nice gyms. How they worked one on and one off with a kelly day. I would have killed to have that life in the military. Marching bands and parades.
Now I did get what I wanted from the Navy. I am now a firefighter/paramedic for a city in the midwest. I also did grow up some. Take my advice....if you want to be a fireman in the military you should go Air force.
The guy who said you need to get your job in writing from the recruiter was dead on. NEVER join the military unless you have the job you want!
[This message has been edited by rescuebill (edited 01-01-2001).]
01-08-2001, 06:47 PM #13MGFIRE24Firehouse.com Guest
I went into the Air Force in 94, I got out in 98 and went to work at the same base as a civilian. I recently switched to an Army base. I also have a brother in the Navy. I would recommend you go Air Force, my brother regrets Navy. I am seeing the army now, we have several GI firefighters assigned only 1 works in station with us, the rest of us are civilians. The opportunities to travel in Air Force are actually increasing(TDY's). I learned a lot as a military firefighter. When I got out I had the opportunity to work for several Airports due to my certifications. I choose DOD Civilian because you don't have to test and such for jobs. Eventually in next few years I may go to a municipal department. THE KEY IS GET THE JOB GUARANTEED FIRST!!!!! The Air Force is also the only one to do that(thats what made me choose airforce). Any questions let me know.
01-21-2001, 09:46 PM #14gunnyvFirehouse.com Guest
USMC also will guarantee MOS 7051 (crash crew)Active or Reserve. The Reserve units that will be left with firefighters after the current reorganization will probably be in PA, CA, and MI. USMC FFs only cover the airfield and /or deployed units. Base FD is separate. Active units will send you to basic EMT. Expect to train alot, work alot (96 hr wk), and learn to shoot. But if you're gonna be a Marine FF, you have to remember the MARINE part comes first, always. If you want to get FF training on the gov't and be a FF only, join the USAF. If you're still interested talk to a recruiter. Good luck.
02-12-2001, 12:40 AM #15akfiremanFirehouse.com Guest
cpr, I am a civilian firefighter on an army base in alaska. It really depends on you, in the airforce the job comes first and that is all there is to it, as a firefighter in the army they have two jobs, being a firefighter and being a soldier. all DOD components send their firefighters to the same school and they all recieve the same certifications. Either way you will get good training and certifications that are accepted all over the US, as for medical training, i can only tell you what the army is doing. All army firefighters are required to be trained to the EMT-B level and on alot of bases the fire department is the primary EMS provider, which is the case at my base. Although we dont have any paramedics we do have EMT-B's and EMT-I's. i hope this gives you some insight to the army side of things.
02-25-2001, 12:43 PM #16scrapperFirehouse.com Guest
Here was my experience in a nutshell. I joined the Air Force Reserve. I did a two month firefighter school at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, TX. I believe the school is longer now, maybe even 20 weeks. I went through in 1993. At my reserve unit we did the usual one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer or whenever. On our weekends we did training and paperwork. Training included firefighter training as well as unit training with the civil engineering squadron. That included things like readiness for war, firearm training, etc. On our two week trips we would go to an active duty Air Force Base and be assigned a shift and work with the active duty guys. The bases we went to were anywhere from Wisconsin to Florida to England, Germany and Japan. You worked the 24 hour shift with the crew which means you had every other day off to tour where you were.Most of my reserve unit wouldn't have it any other way.
Also, most civilian depts. I've applied for require at least a 6-month string of consecutive active duty with the military to qualify for veterans points. I never did qualify for veterans points because of this even though I spent 6 years in the reserve.
My opinion is Air Force is the way to go for firefighting. If your young, single and want to travel then go active duty.
Remember, my experiences above are mine only. Things may have changed since then and maybe some places do it differently. I was in the AF reserves from 1993-1999.
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