I recently left the Army fire service for a civilian fire dept. The "problem" is, I was a Captain with the Feds. I left due to the possibility of job cuts, contracting, and the arrival of a "new" fire chief ( who is a slang term for a dog of multiple breeds). Having been a captain, plus having the required DOD training and certification for it, I went to a firefighter/paramedic position. The department I'm now on stays very busy. BUT, there's no officer training/development, very little training for the line, and I also found out I've been a paramedic longer than anyone here. Needless to say, this has started some "talking" around here. Me? I just keep my mouth shut. Yes, I want to be a Captain again. BUT, I'm also willing to put in my time before I receive that opportunity. Anyone else ever been in a situation like this? How did you deal with it? Are there any more ex-feds out there who have done something like this?
I don't really want to go back to the DOD, plus, I'm too damn old to do career hopping. Maybe with time, things will change. However, I said that to myself for the last 12 years with the base I was formerly employed. Now MY advice...someone on here once said that if the grass looks greener somewhere else, it probably gets more fertilizer. How true.
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Thread: down the career ladder
07-21-2002, 02:30 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2002
down the career ladder
07-21-2002, 03:39 PM #2
Your not alone
I am in the same boat as you my brother, I left the DOD located in Southern California as a Truck Company Captain and all around importent guy, but due to the base closures lomming. I got hired by a civilian Department in Utah and basically had to start over as a rookie Firefighter. I really had no problems with this for the first four years or so, but now after several people whom were hired after me and other that were here prior to me but have not even close the experiance or formal training I have, have been propmoted past me, I am starting to think that I made a big mistake.
It is kinda wierd because I have all the respect in the world from the guys on the floor as they know my experience and actually draw upon it when the Sh*&T hits the fan. But for some reason, Admin does not care and they keep groomming these other guys that have baically no experiance or very little experiance in Supervision and leadership since they are (COMPANY MEN)
I am finally getting my act together and jumping through the hoops that they want to to jump through, and I will get my Captains position back again in the next couple of years, but it is frushtrating that there were too many people that jumped ahead of me with not even close the candidate skills I posses.
As for the grass being greener, I do not think so, it is just a differenct shade of green, everywhere has there problems, they are just different whereever one ends up.
LOL : DOD EX Captain MCAS El Toro Fire DeptFront line since 1983 and still going strong
07-22-2002, 12:32 AM #3
You're too good!
Here's my view on your situation, and I mean what I say here with the greatest sincerity. Your both too good for the departments your on. You have years of experience/training/credentials that should make you naturals for positions of leadership in your departments.
The officers that you have now aren't going to want to promote you because they view you as a threat if you become an officer again. They don't want competition for a future promotion from a firefighter that is obviously more qualified than themselves.
Best wishes and good luck to both of you.
07-22-2002, 07:01 PM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
I hear the both of you; I was extremely aggressive in the DOD Cert System. I bounced around all up and down the east coast, until I landed my Dream job. I lost a lot of money, from a GS 6/6 down to a rookie. I know that in a few years the money will come back and so will the seniority. I could care less about being in command right now. I am happy to not have to work that silly 72-hour a week schedule. As for being over trained. I act like I know nothing I make them show me everything, from spiking bags to starting up power plants. I don’t want that “ know-it-all attitude”.
I am going to take all the little extra courses I have, and file them away in an “I Love Me book”. Then some rainy day I will pull them out for an interview. They helped me get into this “Dream Job” maybe they will help me get promoted.
It’s a refreshing break being in the jump seat, I love to ride backwards. I feel like I can’t do and control more on the end of the hand line.
07-23-2002, 01:36 AM #5
Same boat here...
Some times it is better to move around than get stagnant and
"federalized". My best buddy (Chief Taylor) and I can both
agree on one thing..the 56 is sooo much better than at f-ing
72 hour work week.
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