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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber Engine5FF's Avatar
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    Default Lateral Transfer. Is it real?

    I have heard of this mystical thing called a "lateral transfer" but have never met anyone who went through the process and now I need hard info on the subject.

    I have been a career FF for 5 years now and am even on the LT.s list. I've gotten raises (when the city wasn't fighting us) and now make a good living at the best job in the world. I would like to keep doing just that for the rest of my career.

    My wife is a very talented computer programmer with an architect firm in town. She is being "head-hunted" by a rival firm for more money. This rival firm is based in Kansas City but the office they want her at is in the suburbs of Philadelphia PA. One of the points we need cleared before she decides to take the job is if I can find work in my field in this area also, or else the extra money isn't worth it. I know that there are several paid and combination departments in the Philly suburbs and I will be contacting all of them that I can on future trips down there.

    My questions are...
    Anyone ever do a lateral transfer?
    What does it require?
    How hard is it to get?
    Do I really have a chance of getting one?

    I am a certified NFPA FF2 and National reg. paramedic with NY lic.

    I would like any comments that anyone has to offer.
    "What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith

    www.elmirafire.org


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    I know that in Massachusetts there can be lateral transfers within departments that are registered with Civil Service. Both chiefs have to agree on the transfer. There was a firefighter from my FD who lateraled to Newton in the late 1970's. I don't know if you could lateral from one state to another.

    Your FF2 and paramedic certification may help you in your endeavor. You may get hired on by a department in the Philly area, but I would tend to think that you would start at the bottom in reference to seniority, pay scale, etc.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber Engine5FF's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm not realy worried about starting at the bottom of the ladder again, it's starting at all that is on my mind. I'm almost 33 now and several departments have lame age restrictions on the entrance exams. And due to timing, I might have to wait up to two years before other tests in these areas come around. I just don't want to lose out on staying in the fire service because of my age.
    "What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith

    www.elmirafire.org

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Engine5FF,
    I don't know about the east coast but in California there are some departments that do lateral transfers. I started my carrier in California and have friends that have done lateral transfers. We have a member that followed his wife here. He was a 13 year vet from a department on the east coast. He was out of the fire service for three years till he made it on our list and got the job. Your situation is a tough one and I wish you well. I'm not sure I was much help, but maybe just to say good luck.

  5. #5
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    We have had two lateral transfers from our department in the last 8 years. One is near you in the City of Rochester. They are difficult because many chiefs are new to the process. Make sure you contact the departments union officials 1st so there isn't the rumor "hey, the Chief is trying to sneek in one of his boys." I've seen this screw up one lateral. Newer firefighters also see you as a threat. You have more experience and training so you might get a promotion ahead of them.

  6. #6
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    Default

    I did a lateral transfer from a DOD fire department to a civilian one. Sort of. I was a Captain at the DOD place, but due to things going on, chose to leave. I DID NOT transfer to the other dept as a captain, but as a firefighter/paramedic. The only advantage that I could see was that I started out at a higher pay scale than a probie off the street. I also did not have to go through any of the basic fire training the probie's get. Consider a transfer VERY carefully. Talk to the firefighters of the department you're thinking of going to. OFF duty. After 6 months, I'm wondering if perhaps I didn't make a mistake. But, I'm too damn old to go job hunting now. I made my transfer at 38 years of age.

    A mention to a previous post about being a "threat" to younger members. That is correct. There were so many rumors flying around when I was hired, it felt like I was living in my old small town again. Also, your paramedic certification will definitely come in handy. That was pretty much my "ace in the hole."

    Good luck. It will be strange the first few months (or years!??).

  7. #7
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    Default Doubt it.

    I highly doubt you will find a lateral transfer available to you in the Philly area. There are currently a few spots hiring FF/Medics but not many. Alot easier to find a medic job then continue to look for a FF job since our area is having a huge medic shortage right now. Private transports are paying 25/hr for medics, not bad for a temp job though. Elmira, is that close to Corning?

  8. #8
    Forum Member tfd181's Avatar
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    I did a lateral transfer between two departments in NY. A "true" lateral transfer can usually only take place within the same state - (the idea being that you would be in the same retirement system and trained to the same minimum level). I have seen many listings for departments giving preference to trained firefighters (usually paramedics) but that seems to mainly be out west and down south.

    In my case I was able to carry my time in the retirement system and was paid based on my years of service, but did not carry any departmental senority.

    If your wife stayed in NY, you might have a decent chance. Email me @ dudek224@nycap.rr.com if you have any other questions.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    The only "lateral transfers" Ive heard of is in some of the bigger cities. Say you work for the public works dept and are fire certified, you can transfer to the fire dept if a spot comes open. As for transfers between FDs, the only thing Ive heard of is transferring to an FD that has the same retirement plan. You keep your time in the plan, but have to start at the bottom as a probie.
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  10. #10
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    Some FDs (many in CA) have Lateral Entry tests, which are not the same as the entry level (Recruit) test. They usually require 2-3 years of fulltime experiance, and often require a Nat'l Reg paramedic license. They WILL take ffs from out of state. I have no idea if this system is in place in the Philly area.

  11. #11
    the 4-1-4 Jasper 45's Avatar
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    Default

    I just realized looking at this thread that it is three years old. I wonder if the lateral happened.

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