1. #1
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    Default question for fed. firefighters

    How many of U federal firefighters(civilan) are happy with your department?

  2. #2
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    Unhappy

    I am not. I spent 6 years in the military as an active duty firefighter. After I seperated, I joined a federal department that was 100% civilian. I am a high speed individual. The military made me that way. I don't like to sit in one place. My department right now is filled to the top with people who want to come to work and collect a pay check for doing the bare minimum and go home. If I stay in the federal fire service this is how I see myself ending up. I have givin the civilian "side of the house" a chance and have decided that it is not for me, I hope one day to be able to leave the federal fire service and join a municipal department. All of my friends that have left to work "downtown" say it was the best career decision they have made, and as time goes on I am begining to think they must be on to something here.
    Last edited by FEDFIRE16; 03-29-2003 at 02:21 AM.

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    Default All depends where and when

    I loved my tenure as fed firemen. I have never since or will ever work with such as mish mash of experience, ages and training levels. I worked at four separate posts over an 8-year period. To be frank I would never have left if the hours had not had been so long. The Training I received and the experiences I gained have been invaluable in the municipal sector. If you are a Fed guy I commend you for your service to this country, but by all means take tests. I would love to see more fed guys on the municipal side of the service.
    “Just when you think something is made to be Idiot Proof. They go a head and make a better Idiot”

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    Talking

    Bumping an ancient thread for any more comments/tips. I'm currently a municipal FF looking to relocate and I'm about to submit an application for a Fed. FF job.

    Any more advice would be greatly appreciated.

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    Thumbs up DOD Federal Firefighters.

    Dishwasher,

    I love my job as DOD Federal Firefighter(Civilan)
    The Money is Good, the hours are long.The DOD fire training is the best in the world.It all depends on what department you work for.

    Good Luck
    Last edited by DODFirefighter; 08-01-2004 at 06:33 AM.

  6. #6
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    Lightbulb

    I think that being a federal firefighter is a good career choice. Besides working 72 hours a week I am very happy with my career. Every department varies and just like municipalities you have guys that don't want to do anything and guys that look forward to doing work. You need to apply to the departments that fit your needs; call volume, living conditions, equipment, etc. For years federal firefighters have been told about contracting out. A federal firefighter is no safer than a municipality firefighter, especially in areas where there are city layoffs. With the new 081 re-write depending on what part of the US you live in, federal firefighters are making double what municipality firefighters are. My advice to you is to get into the system by taking any job. Then you can research the department that fits you best and try and transfer into that department.
    As far as statements being made by federal firefighters about the job being boring and sitting around all day, I would caution this type of talk. As federal firefighters we must justify our jobs as any other department, and advertising that FF do nothing all day isn't a good way to maintain job security. Each department has their faults, but if you choose this type of employment you must be aware that it is full of down time and work time depending on the base.
    Last edited by marine12; 08-01-2004 at 03:01 PM.

  7. #7
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    Wink

    I agree with Marine16. No matter where you are on the job, you'll always find one guy who hates it, one who loves it, one who's milking it and one who just dosent know how he got there. I've been on a Municipal Department, an Industrial Department and now a Federal Department. It all comes down to what you make of it. Personally I love it. I wake up in the morning ready to do what I love to do. There are many types of people who join the Federal Fire System. THere are many reasons why they do it. At my department we have a high turnover rate, most end up leaving to go to DC. It might be hard to beleive but it is usually easier to get into the Federal System then into the a Municipal System. And more of it "USUALLY" depends on your credensials instead of how many pushups you can do. You also get to see the fruits of your labor. If you respond to a incident, chances are good your gonna see the people involved again. In the city you'll never see those people again. SO in my opinion, if you want to be a big bad city firefighter go municipal. If you want to make a diffrence and do what you love, go Federal.
    THere are alot of things about the Federal System that people dont like. ie schedule, pay, color of the uniforms. Whatever. For me it the point that If i decide that I just want to move, Its a little easier to transfer to another department. Ask some municipal guy what happens if he wants to move, I'll be he has to apply with the other 3,000 applicants for 2 spots. Pay is good at first, usually more the citys, but at the end, unless you move up in rank, you usually get passed. But you also get that good old Federal Pention, and that one will never fold. Layoffs are always a possiblity no matter where you are, Just look at our brothers in PA. Federal is no diffrent, its a crap shoot no matter where you go. You just have to follow your heart and do what good for you. That, and dont trust the guy who sends you to get a can of compression from the base motorpool! Hope my rambellings are a help. Sorry for my spelling too.

    Remember you only get one body, You'll see another Fire!

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    Question ???????????????????

    Dear damoneng4,
    I see that you are on the job as a Fed. FF in Virginia. I was wondering if I may get some info from you. I see the Navy Base in Montgomery County MD is hiring. It's called Naval Warfare Surface Center in Carderock, MD.
    Do you have any info on this place such as if they have an IAFF local, equipment, stations, call volume??????
    Anything would be great- I am just curious.
    Thanks.

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    Default

    It was the best of times it was the worst of times. Listen be happy where you’re at. I worked Military/ Fed for 8 Years. I have been all up and down the Eastern seaboard looking for that golden Banana. Well there was a Golden Banana, I found just outside of Boston but that’s for a whole other thread.
    I loved the Military and the Feds; I also felt I needed the runs to feel Happy, Man was I ever wrong. The Only thing that I can say is better is the Hours. Our Training is mediocre at best and we don’t do that many more fires then I did as a fed guy. Not to mention the pay Wack I took. I Beat the Idea around about working an extra Job to make ends meat. Now I have to Work that extra Job. Where as before the extra job was fun money, now I find myself working harder for the same life I had before. But I have a better firehouse schedule. Foget the fact that I do 15 calls a day instead of 2-5 good calls that I did federal. If you can get on a Great Civilian Department I say go for it!... But Chances are the Grass is Greener on th other side of the fence because it covers a septic Tank! Good Luck with you endevors
    “Just when you think something is made to be Idiot Proof. They go a head and make a better Idiot”

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    Cool

    Marine12, I know very little about them. I think they are one of the Regional Stations for what is now the NDW Super department. Here is they're unofficial webpage. Hope it helps. If you need anything else drop a line.

    http://mysite.verizon.net/vze34vpy/

    damon_eng4@firehousemail.com

  11. #11
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    Question

    Besides working 72 hours a week I am very happy with my career.
    72 hours is no problem for me, that's what I work now, but what is your typical work schedule? (or does it vary from dept. to dept?)

  12. #12
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    Default

    Usually its a 24 hours on, 24 hours off, then repeat. You get one day off every two weeks. Its not too bad, some people just can't handle it.

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    Default Federal Vs. Municipal

    The federal fire service is a great organization...but you have to understand that the federal fire departments are not going to run a lot of working incidents with in their area. This is just common sense. Most military bases have a designated fire prevention section that is dedicated to educating the public and enforcing policies, procedures, and regulations governing fire safety. Another plus is that the AHJ has the ability to exceed the standards as they see fit. This allows for a low call ratio for working incidents. This is a great thing...but it also has its down falls. The lack of real working incidents requires your department to be very proactive with its training program. If it is not then that can spell disaster on the fire ground when a working fire is dispatched. In addition, some municipal departments look down on federal firefighters because we do not have the high call ratios (typically) or several working fires a year. Each base is a closed community that can function by it self with very little to no outside influence if necessary.

    My advise is this...find a federal department the has a good current mutual aid policy with departments outside the gates. Look for federal departments that run with their local civilian counterparts on a regular basis. Norfolk, VA naval base has a section of the city that they run first due on. This will allow you to get a full view of both federal and civilian fire departments. Another thought is to find an installation that has a good volunteer department near by that you can join and gain some good experience and maintain your skills. Those are just a few things that I have looked for when looking for a federal job.

    Just my thoughts. You form your own opinion.
    Hamy91

    Firefighters are the chosen people.
    _________________________

    My views do not reflect that of my department

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up

    Excellent tips thank you very much.


    My advise is this...find a federal department the has a good current mutual aid policy with departments outside the gates. Look for federal departments that run with their local civilian counterparts on a regular basis.
    Other than calling the departments, is there any other way to find out this information?

    Also, how many of you were hired without all the credentials listed in the job announcement? Are they real strict about IFSAC?

    And one more question if I may

    Do I really stand a chance getting hired if I have no previous military or federal employment history?

  15. #15
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    Lightbulb DOD Federal Firefighter Jobs

    Dishwaster,

    YES.... You have a good chance of getting hired by DOD Federal F&ES Department if you have your Firefighter I & II & your Haz-Mats
    without a military or federal employment history.


    If you have FF I you can apply for GS-04 jobs
    If you have FF I & II you can apply for GS-5 jobs
    If you have FF I & II & EMT you can apply for GS-06 jobs

  16. #16
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    Lightbulb Federal FD.............. Frist Due

    Dishwaster,

    Here are some DOD departments who are frist due to fires, MVA, Haz-Mat Calls in thair Counties Cities & Towns around thair DOD bases

    Andrews AFB FD, MD ,Patuxent River FD MD, Carderock FD, MD, Naval Dist DC FD, MD, Fort Monmouth FD, NJ, Picatinny Arsenal,FD NJ
    Fort Dix,FD NJ, Submirine Base,FD CT, Fort Myer,FD VA, Watervliet Arsenal,FD NY, McGuire AFB,FD, NJ Goast Guard Station,FD NJ, Fort Belvoir,FD VA(Frist due to some boxes in Fairfax Co.) NIH,FD MD

    Here is a story from the Troy(N.Y.) Rocord

    WATERVLIET - Several families are homeless after a fire hit a two-story brick apartment building around 8 p.m. Friday.

    About 8 p.m. the City of Watervliet & Watervliet Arsenal Fire Departments reponed to 814 23rd st. for a report fire.
    No residents were injured in the blaze at 814 23rd St., but two Watervliet firefighters were hurt and taken to Samaritan Hospital in Troy - one for heat exhaustion and the other for injuries sustained when he fell through the second-floor ceiling.
    Judy Spellman, who lives in a first-floor apartment, got her two pet birds and two of her three cats out safely, but was concerned for her third cat, Oreo. However, firefighters found Oreo in the basement after the fire had been extinguished.
    The cause of the fire has not been determined.

    City of Troy and Watervliet Arsenal Fire Departments were also called to the scene.


    NOT all city departments look down on federal guys !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by marine12; 08-20-2004 at 10:43 AM.

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    Default

    Well!!! going on 16 years service, I guess I'm pretty happy. We were just informed that we will be taking over one of our sister departments at another base, so things are looking good, but they could be a hell of alot better, (cut backs I mean).

  18. #18
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    Default

    I recently became a DOD Firefighter/Paramedic and I love it so far, the hours are long but I am getting used to them. We do run 1-3 calls a day, we do mutual aid with the neighboring cities, one of the city depts call us automatically for all structure fires they get. lilyogi

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