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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Aug 2004
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    Default Military firefighting question

    Alright, so this is my first time posting here. Howdy, y'all.

    I am a 21 yr old Army specialist in the telecommunications field, currently in Iraq. I've got an interest in firefighting, and two years left on my Army contract. I've been looking into the Army's firefighting program, and from what I understand it's pretty screwy right now...poor equipment, lack of good training, frequent downsizing and switching over to civilian contractors. The Air Force, on the other hand, supposedly has an excellent training program.

    I'm considering switching branches when my Army term is up. I'm wondering if any of you have experience as a firefighter with either branch and might have some advice to share. Is the Army program worthwhile? Would it be better to go Air Force? Or should I save my time and just go civilian?

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

    SPC Volker


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Default

    Smart move. Air Force is the way to go. I was Army for 23 years (fire protection). AF offers more training and better rank advancement opportunities. Also, your apparatus aren't some whacked out do-it-all gizmo that some idiot, who's never fought a fire in his career, designed for you. As far as civilian contractors, that's the norm. Military will do it while the area is still "hot" or until a scope of work is completed for a contractor. When things start to cool off, then the contracters come into play. As far as initial training, it's all the same. Goodfellow AFB, Texas.

    You will not see a lot of "big" fire action as a military firefighter, but the opportunities I've had have been great. The travel, training, working with other bases, and yes, even the deployments. By the way, are you at Anaconda?

  3. #3
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    Default

    I've done both. Army and Air Force Firefighting. I've also done it in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, and other various postings. I concur with the above. If you want to travel and stay in the Military Firefighting field, go USAF FD, if you want to settle down, then do another stint (your still young) in the USAF FD, get as much training as you can (high angle, haz-mat, confined space etc) and start looking into civie dept's. Still like the Military Service? Find a good civie dept around a reserve base that has reserve firefighters. You'll get the best of both worlds then. Been there. Done it. Hope that helps.

    Pat

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Default

    Just watch out for the AF Rosen-Brokens

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    The AF firefighting isn't too bad if you're into the military deal. The equipment is alright, but just like any branch of the military they do it slightly goofy.

    The training was ok, as was previously mentioned, AF, Army, Navy, Marine, all of the training is done at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo TX.

    The structural firefighting in my opinion was not good training. The crash firefighting on the other hand was very good. The instructors there (for the structural side) are overly cocky with very minimal experiance actually fighting fire which makes it a bit odd. That wasn't the rule though, there were some very good instructors there with good heads on their shoulders.

    42VTExplorer, what did you mean by
    Just watch out for the AF Rosen-Brokens
    ??

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2003
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    Default

    Local base has 1 of 5 (?) Rosenbauers that were made, is not able to even start because of starter issues and a fluid leak of some sort that has yet to be fixed.

    I don't think it has even seen in service time. I believe the others are in the same boat. Rosenbauer revised the vehicle, and the bases with the first ones are still kinda S.O.L.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
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  8. #8
    Assistant Chief 911brad's Avatar
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    Default

    Reklov77,

    Check with a recruiter to see if this is even possible. I'm finishing my 8th and final year in the Army National Guard. A couple years ago I went and spoke with an active Air Force recruiter about making the switch from Army NG to active USAF Firefighting as well. He told me then that since I'm prior service the Air Force wouldn't let me pick my own new career field. Also since my MOS (field artillery) doesn't exactly transfer over to Air Force they would do the picking, not me. In fact at that time he said that I'd almost be guarenteed to get a job as a generator mechanic.

    The other option that I had looked at was finding an ANG or USAF-Reserve unit that was looking for firefighters. If you were to get the AF job (equivlent to MOS 55B in the Army) in the AF, go do the training at Goodfellow, you could then transfer that over to active Air Force without any problems.

    E-mail me with any questions: brad.ingersoll@us.army.mil

    Stay Safe!

    Brad
    Brad A. Ingersoll
    Assistant Chief
    Maple Bluff Fire Department
    Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS

    Badgerland FOOLS
    EGH-PTB-FTM

  9. #9
    Junior Member
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    Default

    Thanks for all the responses, I've got some good information to go on now.

    Unfortunately, I looked into the Air Force recruiting, and it turns out the're so over-strength right now that they're not even taking new recruits till summer 2005. Luckily, my term's not over till '06, so hopefully things will be cleaned up by then.

    And no, I'm not at Anaconda, although I do have several friends stationed there. My unit (13th Signal, 1st Cav) is at Camp Ferrin-Huggins, in Baghdad.

    SPC Volker

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