I am 30 yrs old and just moved to the west coast from the east coast...I was in Law enforcement for seven years which I didnt enjoy...Besides taking tests for fire departments I heard there are actual schools you can put yourself through to earn you firefighter certificate....I am also enrolling in a basic EMT class.....Does anyone know about these schools? I know about the state fire college in Florida but are there any in California or Arizona?...I was a volly and have a firefighter I certification from New Jersey Can I transfer this certificate to arizona ..california etc? Does putting yourself through fire school help you get a job quicker.? Any feedback would be appreciated
Go to www.ifsac.org and www.npqs.win.net, these are like the "national registry" of fire certifications. They have a list of where certs transfer. I do not think NJ is a member though. California will not except training from other states. They may take FF1, but the department you work for has to accept it and then they give you a form to send to the state to get your CA FF1.
I went to the fire academy in California, and it seems like they are on every corner. Most community colleges have one, but the best I have seen is at Palomar College in the San Diego area. Also, you could go to www.firecareers.com, I think they have a list of fire schools for the entire U.S.
Hope this helps
I don't know about California, but you can get your FFI/II through the Maricopa Community Colleges (Mesa Community, Glendale CC, etc) check out www.maricopa.edu or if your pursuits lead you further south, Pima CC here in Tucson offers an academy as well. (www.pima.edu) EAC and CAC also offer these classes. The state Fire Marshal's office offers some classes as well - see http://www.dbfs.state.az.us/OFM/FireTraining.html
As far as reciprocity goes, my advice is to just burn off a semester and go through it again - the "refresher" could prove valuable for the departments that test off of the IFSTA bank.
As far as prior experience goes, except for the majors (Phoenix, Tucson, etc) pretty much everyone in AZ requires NFPA 1001/FFII and EMT-B at the minimum, and 40 hr Hazmat is pretty common as a requirement too. Feel free to EMail me (firstname.lastname@example.org)if you have any more questions - I typically know who's testing and when statewide, so I can help you out there as well.