1. #1
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    Default MILITARY FIREFIGHTERS

    I was wanting some information on Military
    Fire fighters im 17 and home schooled I will
    be graduating this coming school year .I have
    been looking into the CoastGuard ,Navy and
    Airforce trying to make a decsion I going to
    meet with a Airforce Recruiter this Thursday
    I have also spoke with a Navy Recruiter about
    meeeting but he has never called me back so I
    will call him back today. No one has called
    from the Coast GUARD I would stop by but the
    nearest one is in Orlando,Tampa and Miami.
    Any info will help I know I will have to take
    the asvab I have alredy taken some sample questions online and I missed one I guess thats good.I have also been to ALL of the web
    links for the Coast Guard,Navy and Airforce
    I am sure there are many more so just list them and I will check them out. Here is some
    info on me I have been a Explorer since Jan.
    of 99 and the Fire/Rescue services is something I am in interested in making a profession some day so I wanting to go into
    the Military for some experince . I will try
    to get my EMT basic and Hazmat training before I go in so I can be ahead of every one
    else. Any info would be nice any suggestions
    I open to your opinion thanks for your time.
    jason campbell

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    Your best option to gain FF experience will be in the Air Force(Structure, ARFF, Hazmat, Rescue.) You can also go into the Marines as a FF. You will learn alot about ARFF. The Coast Guard is very limited on FF positions in the military. The Navy most of everyone on a ship is a FF regardless what you do. You really only get Marine Firefighting experience. If you are going into the Military. Don't bother to get any certs. They will give you more than you know what to do with. When you get out. You will be will qualified for a Federal Civilian FF position. Which ever branch of the service you pick. Make sure when you sign up to go in as a FF it is guaranteed. If not once your in they can move you to a different job. Don't let them B.S. you.

    [ 08-07-2001: Message edited by: James Miller ]
    IAFF Local F-298

  3. #3
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    James hit in on the head kid. Don't worry about any certs, and forget about what you've done. They don't care, and won't impress them. One thing about the Marine Corps is FF positions are sometimes very limited. Also it is (at least when I was on active duty) a very flooded field, and promotions come very slow due to most guys do not leave those positions. They offer very lucrative reenlistment offers because of the amount of training they have so they don't lose it to the civiliain world.

    Also like James said, make sure it is a guaranteed field you are entering. And don't forget, and don't lose site. Whatever branch you go into you still have to do basic training, and then go to school. And for the Marine Corp after basic training you go to Combat School for 1 month, then your specialized school.

    Good luck, and why not just try to get hired where you live on a municiple dept. If you get hired young, you retire young and the pay is a lot better. Plus you never have to worry when you work DoD or VA that your base or facility will be closed. But I will say this, if you do get on later as a federal ff, work your hardest to go municple. I worked at a VA facilty for 4 years. I loved it, and it was great, but I'm making twice as much as them and nearby DoD guys. And I get more perks

    USMC 92-96

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    I agree with the other guys. Air Force is the way to go. If your're active duty, you may get to see some exciting places. As far as experience, the emphasis in the DOD is prevention. Depending on where you're at, you may have a lot activity, or next to nothing. Training however, is tops. If active duty isn't your thing, try the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve. Same training as the active guys, but the state usually kicks in more college benefits.

    Don't waste your time with the Army. I've been there for 20 years, and can't wait for that retirement letter. As far as pay, if you are active duty, you get whatever you're rank is. Civilian, it depends on where you are at. In Kansas, the DOD fire departments are one of the better paying departments. Some civilian departments like the DOD certifcations you get. Some don't care. A buddy from the Army got hired with a very progressive Dept. in the Kansas City area becasue he went to the DOD fire school. (The chief and two Asst Chiefs were ex-military). Good luck to you.

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    I would have to agree with everthing they have told you so far and just want to add some of my owen thaughts to it for you to ponder. I work as a civilian firefighter for the Air Force and have to say out of all the services the Air Force is the best for Militay Firefighting the have most postions to offer in that carrier field. Which will incress your chances for more training after Tech school along with promations. The most import thing to do is to make sure what ever branch of service you choose that it is in your contract to be a firefighter. Just to let you know it is hard for me to say that about the the Air Force cause I was active Army and am still in the Army National Guard but I am just telling the truth as I see it. Hope it helps and good luck with your what ever choice you make.


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    I'm in full agreement with the other guys, on choice of service the Air Force is the only way to go if you want to continue your career in the fire service. Do not, I repeat, do NOT join the Navy as a "fire fighter" that is only a line given to get you in. The Navy does not have a fire fighter rating. The only training is damage control school, and that is generic for all personnel. No certifications that carry any weight outside the Navy.

    Another benefit from military service is the Veterans Points. (Although I personally hate them), they will be an asset to a younger guy trying to get a position either civilain/federal after your enlistment.

    Joe Love

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    Jason,

    I agree 100% with Joe Love. Give it your all to get into the Air Force. Stay away from the Navy. Good Luck.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same

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    Hi Jason,
    Everyone that has placed a post on here are pretty much correct in what they are telling you. I am on active duty with the Air Force as a Fire Fighter. Prior to your visit to the recruiters I would suggest that you write out all of your questions and copy them. Having a total of five that way when you talk to the recruiter you can ask those specific questions. Since your home schooled, the AF by far is easier to deal with concerning home school. Confirm with the recruiter that all you need is a notorized statement from your parents showing all of the subjects that you took while in the program with your grade for each subject. If you have not taken the ASVAB yet, try to take it at a local high school first. It's paper and pencil and easier than the computerized one. All you need is an overall 40 QT but in the General area you want to score at least a 45 or higher. For Firefighters in the AF that score is G-39. However, the higher you score the better off you are overall. The recruiter can not and should not promise you the job on your first visit. Why? One you have to qualify first. Here is how it goes
    -Qualify on ASVAB
    -Morals (background questions)
    -Drugs (The use of any illegal drug or unauthorized use of a controlled substance will disqualfy you for entry into the AF--However, marijuana use is not disqualifying. If you used MJ within the last 45 days the recruiter will advise you not to take your physical-if you do you run a chance of diqualfying yourself from the AF and will not get a second chance--the other branches will give you a second chance not the AF)
    --Now base on the above three items you are tentativly qualified for the AF--you are not qualified for fire protection yet.
    -Physical (very long and intense,conducted at the MEPS-Military Entrance Processing Station--Everyone there will appear to be your friend, however their job is to disqualify you. If you did not divulge anything to your recruiter, you do not do it here--you wait until after you leave that bldg for the day and then tell your recruiter--it's easier for him/her to work it vs you telling them at the MEPS. Also remember once you clear the physical you will then go and talk to the AF Liason, they too will appear to be your best friend but they will disqualify you at the drop of a dime.
    Once you clear the physical you are morally, mentally, and physically qualified for the AF as a whole not a specific job-next you will speak to the AF Liason as I mentioned above. They too will ask you a slew of questions, remember they are there to disqualify you too. Once you clear the qualification questioning, they will then ask you what type of jobs you are interested in and when you want to go to basic.
    You should list out at least 5 jobs that you would like to do--why? What happens if during the physical you are deemed color blind or you do not have depth perception or can not lift 100 LBs over your head? Can not be a FF in the AF. It is best to say that you would want to go to Basic training in 3-4 months, why, because if they do not have the job available you can now go on the Qualified and Waiting (QW) list and hopefully the job will come up while your in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP). If not you can elect discharge out of the DEP. This is stated on the QW DEP contract.
    The big picture here is that the recruiters are trying to hire people for the AF not the specific jobs that is the job of the Job Counselor (AF Liason) at the MEPS. Granted the other branches work differently but remember how can the recruiter tell you you qualify for a job when you haven't been through the physical? Looking at it all in perspective the AF is like any other company out their , we hire for our needs. The Air Force Specialty Code for Fire Fighter is 3E7X1. Now once you enter and make it through basic which is 30 days long not including weekends-you cann't leave, you then go to tech school at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo TX. School is 13.5 Weeks it may have increased to 21 but not sure. You will be taken from the raw recruit thru FF I & II, Hazmat Awareness & Ops, Airport Fire Fighting--you will get IFSAC certs for these. Plus you will go through a lot more stuff just to earn these certs. From there you then go to your first duty station where you will be placed into upgrade training you will have to complete your ARFF and Pumper certifications and anything that is special at that base, ie..vehicle licenses etc..for your upgrape.
    But you first have to make it over the first couple of hurdles to get to that level. Remember if you do not ask the recruiter the question they will not know what you want to know. If they do not have experience in FF ask them if it is possible for them to take you to an AF base to speak to a firefighter there and maybe someother people in other jobs too. Well best of luck. PS if you have civilian training and can prove it take that stuff in to the AF recruiter, they can forward that info to their squadron and in turn to thier group to maybe get an exception to policy to book you right into fire protection if you qualify. Also ask the AF Liason if they are offering a six year option why? after basic you have two stripes (E-3) which means more money and quicker promotion to E-4.

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    Now that most military firefighters are trained at Goodfellow, the training evens out. The work setting after training is when things change. In the Air Force you have a job and thats it. The the Marines you are a Marine first and a Firefighter second. Does that mean the Marines are less of a firefighter then the Wing Nuts (I mean Air Force)? I don't thinks so. When I went to CFR School in Millington, it was a two week school the rest was OJT. Now the training is much better, and will help you when you get out.

    This all comes down to what you want out of the branch you join. Anyone that joins the military gets a tip of the hat from me.
    Henry C. Hoffman Jr.

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    Just a little hint on what has worked out very good for me. Look into the Air National Guard. Its the same bennifits basicaly as the Active duty deals, You go through the same training just when every one else is going to their bases you get to go home and go to college. The best bennifit is the guard is State owned and usually as long as you go to a state school half or all the tuition will be waived. Also you will recieve the GI bill And if you chose a in demand job you can recieve an additional 350 a month on top of that. I make money by going to college I get the points for being military, you get all the military certifications. Please look into It. Best of all you dont have to put up with all the military BS

    hope this helps
    let me know if im not clear

    pat

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    Jason

    Let me add my two cents. The Air Force is definately the way to go if you really want to join a branch of the service. I was in the Marines and the Air Force Reserves. There is no comparison between the two. The Air Force is like a job were your off time is pretty much your own. The Marines own you 24/7 - 365 days a year and they don't let you forget it. The school at Goodfellow AFB is excellant. You will be hard pressed to find a better , more comprehensive fire school anywhere.

    I agree with Patt Dunn, look into the Air Guard in Florida. You get the same training (and qualifications) but can be looking for employment with a municipal department while doing the guard stuff. If you can, I would stay out of the Federal Government. The job security just isn't there anymore and the hours and pay don't compare well with outside departments. Don't get me wrong, I am a career Federal Firefighter and damn proud of it but I am realistic also. If you can't get on a municipal department, try the Feds but don't quit looking.

    Welcome to the brotherhood. It truly is a way of life and join your local Union. They fight for improvements in your living conditions and safety every day. Good luck in whatever direction you go. Stay safe.
    Roy Colbrunn (Tank)
    IAFF Local F-88 Sec/Treas

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    mrtank, iwas just curious, does wright-patt have any military firefighters or are they all civilian? jason, i agree with the majority, air force is the way to go, A.D., guard or reserve, their all pretty good and you will have a chance to get plenty of certs that will help out later, don`t pick 5 jobs though like masterdod said, make sure the recruiter knows that you want to be a firefighter and thats the only way yor signing on the dotted line...

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    jeg532

    We had 24-28 military out of 110 personnel. We tried to include them in all our (IAFF Local F-88) agreements for work hours and and details. We were known to "ruin" good airmen but made great firefighters. They are all just about gone now. We hired many as civilians when they separated. Most came in at the f/f level although one got a GS-08 inspector position without competition from anyone else on the department but that is a whole other subject. All (except the insp.) are proud Union members, many signing their dues authorization before their first day on the job!
    Roy Colbrunn (Tank)
    IAFF Local F-88 Sec/Treas

  14. #14
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    I don't know if anyone mentioned this yet, why not try the reserves? I'm in the Army Reserves as a Firefighter, we do it all. We actually have a pretty good unit. I'm also still going to school for my Fire Science degree at the same time. I'm also on a dept as a POC and still have time to test while getting all kinds of training and certs. I was in the Marines for a while and that's what I wanted to do after a 51/2 stint as a STA Marine but it was all full. I think which branch depends on the person. But who ever said don't go in the Navy was right...EVERYBODY IS A FIREFIGHTER ON SHIP!!!! Think about it...if your boat is on fire what are you going to do???? Anyway, your full time job will probably be turd chaser or something stupid like that.

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    Mrtank
    so do you guys ever get any new airman? i heard that wright-pat is going all civilian and that i have no chance of getting stationed there. i would love to come back to ohio.

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    Good pointers from everyone. Just remember even though you may tell your recruiter that the only way your entering the AF (I can not comment for the other branches or the guard or reserves) is by having a FF job, as JEG532 says, or you will not sign on the dotted line then that AF recruiter can not help you. That recruiter is there to help you through the process of entering the AF--remember you are not fully qualified until after you have completed your physical and interview with the AF job liason. The AF will not and should not send you to the MEPS just to see if you qualify for that one job. Why? It's a waste of the taxpayers money and time of the recruiter, meps personnel, and job liason. Also check with your local FD and find out what the requirements are for entering their fire academy. Some will say you have to be at least 21, maybe some college under your belt or have military experience. Nine times out of ten it does not matter what type of military experience. The reason you may want to have a minimum of 5 jobs listed besides fire protection is for a fall back incase you do not qual for the ff job in the af.
    I've spoken with some Marine FFs from Quantico, who tell me they only deal with the flying side of the house and they do not even touch the structual side which is handle by their civilian members on the otherside of the installation. They told me that they do not even train for their pumper certs, inspector, instructor or anything else because they are not allowed. So they are only dealing with one aspect of fire protection. Now that may only be at this particular installation. As for the AF you are an Airman first a firefighter second. Unfortunately, for first term airman that are stationed stateside they are groomed into thinking that they are FFs first, Airmen second. Why, because at all state side bases the home contingency force are civilians and they have their own set of standards that they abide by which the first term airmen do not understand. A lot of them think they fall under the civilian standards. Ie..going to the union to solve thier concerns vs using the chain of command. As with the guard and reserve just remember that you could be called in to active duty at any given time. Just look at what happened during Desert Shield/Storm. A lot of guard and reserve members couldn't believe they were being called up to go to war--a lot of them went first before the active duty members. Don't get me wrong guard and reserve is great--best of both worlds. Another option you can check into is the IMA program. Which is a spin off of the reserves. Check with the reserve recruiter. Reserve and Guard recruiters (RIC) can promise you a specific job because they are hiring for their specific unit or units. All you do is clear the physical at the meps and basically go back to your guard/reserve RIC and if you meet the qualifications for what you want and they hook you up with it. Active duty is not like that. Active duty is more competitive because your competing against everyone else across the nation for the jobs that are being advertised at the MEPS. Depending upon your specific circumstances will determine what you decide to do, not the recruiter. The final decison rests with you--not the recruiter, job liason, or anyone. Later

    DOD

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    jeg532: I'm not Tank, but also a FF at Wright-Patt. The military IS being shipped out of here. There are only 4-5 left, they all have orders--PCS'ing or seperating--and from what I hear/understand, when they're gone , they're gone. Of course that could change too. This has been occuring for just about a year--there haven't been any FNG's for at least that long. I believe they will all be gone by Oct 01. Sorry for the bad news--hope this helps. There is a Reserve unit here. (445th).

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    thanks for the reply firedog, thats what i have heard here also, maybe i can get with the reserves there when i get out.

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    I'm a 7051 (ARFF firefighter) in the Marine Corps Reserve. If you want to be a Marine, join the Corps. If you want to be a fireman, don't even think about it. The Marine Corps restricts it's firefighters to the ARFF (airfield) mission, and it is extreeeemely boring and you get very few calls. They do train hard, but most of it is green-side (military) training. A lot of them do volunteer out in town though. Promotions have sped up since we started going to Goodfellow and getting the IFSAC certs, 'cause so few Marines reenlist as 7051s-they get out and get DoD fire jobs. Go Air Force, or even better Air Guard or Reserve-get the training, serve your country, and have time to test for a municipal fire job.
    Good luck

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