1. #1
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    Default Help with Career in Prevention

    I will be graduating in april with a degree in Fire Science and am looking to start my career and stay in fire prevention. Besides the degree and the certs that come with it, I have UBC '97 and in april IFC 2000. I plan to get four way as well, but am going forward a fast as circumstaces allow.
    I am posting here for two reasons. First, Any information as to openings in Fire Prevention would be of great help. Second, any advice you may offer to improve my marketability would certainly be of help.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Cool

    I guess I have a couple of questions for you.

    1. When you say fire prevention are you talking pub ed or are you looking into inspections, prevention, investigation, pub ed?

    2. I do not know what your degree entailed but did it include investigation and/or inspection utilizing the 1997 UFC with updates (or what ever model code they use in your neck of the woods).

    Having the IFC is a good thing since that is what I think people are going to go to. We will not go to it until about 2004 due to bugs that need to be worked out of it.

    Do you have any background in the fire service other than a degree? If not I would recommend trying to get on a department that has a prevention division, even as a volunteer. Books are great, degrees are great but do not replace the real thing. Having to work with businesses and the occupants can be trying at times.

    My approach to inspections is that it is an educational opportunity but that does not always work so I have to go into my enforcement mode on occasion. When I see your replies I will offer up more. Good luck.
    Captain Tom Kichenmaster
    Philomath Fire & Rescue
    Philomath, OR.

    *****************************
    Every day brings us new and exciting challenges. It is up to us to either embrace them or let them destroy us.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Capt217,
    Thanks for the reply. When I say fire prevention I am meaning prevention, inspections and investigations.
    Yes, my degree entailed inspections using UFC 1997. My state has adopted IFC 2000 since. Yes I do have some experience, I wish I had more however. I worked for a short time with a private fire brigade as well as a wildland firefighter.
    I have worked with enough people to appreciate your perspective as an educator. I have found that the "Barney Fife" Inspector is far less effective than the "Sheriff Andy" approach.

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Cool Pub Ed and on ward...

    So one question I have is... Do you want a fed job or a local or state job?

    You have a good jump on things by having your degree. It is good you have some time in. I would recommend, if you have the time, to join a volunteer dept or volunteer with a paid dept, in the Pub Ed, investigation (we call it life safety division) department. This gives you more hands on time doing what your degree is in and really helps prepare you for some of the things you might encounter.

    Where to find jobs? Firehouse.com is one good resource. Watch your local paper, visit your state fire marshal's website, there are also other online resources, career referral places you can check into.

    I know that the USFS has prevention people. They also get to fight fire when things get slim on personnel. So that is an option. You can look on line for job posting for the feds.

    That is it in a nutshell. If you have more questions you can either post them here or email me. Good luck.
    Captain Tom Kichenmaster
    Philomath Fire & Rescue
    Philomath, OR.

    *****************************
    Every day brings us new and exciting challenges. It is up to us to either embrace them or let them destroy us.

  5. #5
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    Lightbulb IFCI Cert

    Jimmydog,

    You might also look into getting IFCI Fire Inspector I certified. This certificate is separate from state certification for the IFC 2000. You can go to IFCI.com for more information on where to take the test in your state. This test measures your ability to quickly and accurately move through the International Fire Code. IFCI will send you a packet that has some test questions, they are pretty easy compared to the actual test. The test also has some questions from the International Building Code (just a few chapters) so there is some great studying to be done prior to taking this $200 test! Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Jimmy,

    Larger jurisdictions such as mine, maintain lists of qualified candidates, with recruitment for the positions opening up every year or two. We don't need to advertise job openings, as long as we have a valid list. When an opening occurs, we review the resumes of the candidates on the list and invite them for interviews.

    You may want to search the web pages of the personnel departments of the larger jurisdictions for information on being notified when the recruitment period for a fire prevention position is open. I would also keep an eye on the positions posted with firehouse.com.
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of suppression! Sometimes even more!

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