1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Jun 2004

    Default Easiest places in the U.S. to get hired at a department

    I'm from California which seems like an extremely difficult place to get hired as a full-time firefighter in a department. I'm thinking that instead of sitting around here waiting for a job to come to me it might be a better idea to find a somewhere else in the country where there aren't as many applicants to move to and get a job in order to start gaining real experience. Anyways I guess its hard for people to know about different areas because if you haven't been outside of your own much then you don't know how it compares (this is the case for me) but I was hoping maybe someone would have been around enough to know if there are places where it is easier to get a job. Thanks

  2. #2
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2003


    If you have FF1 & FF2 , Hazmat OPS & Nr-EMT-B.............

    You should definately take a look at the Kansas City Metro area for Firefighter jobs.

    There are some departments who only have small groups of applicants ( under 100 apps) because they require all the certs mentioned above to even get an application.

    They also seem to like to hire folks from out of state ? I know a ton of people who have moved here from other places.

    You can buy a pretty nice home for around $150- $175,000 and we have decent weather. The scenery is ok on the Missouri side here but Kansas is FLAT and nothing to block the storms.

    I know that a few are taking applications right now here in the metro or will be very soon. Try calling some of these ..........

    Overland Park, KS
    Kearney, MO
    South Platte, MO
    District #2 , KS
    Lee Summit, Mo
    Merriam, KS
    Shawnee, KS
    Central Jackson County Fire, Mo
    Kansas City, MO
    Kansas City, KS

    Good Luck !!

  3. #3
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    fieldseng2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    St. Louis, MO



    Ive tested well over a dozen depts (some more than once) and I wouldnt say a single one was easy. If it wasnt an extremely difficult agility, you had to be a rocket scientist to figure out the written test. They were all very demanding tests with several times more applicants than openings, be it a major metro fire dept. or a small suburban dept.

    Test anywhere and everywhere. No one says you have to take a job if it's offered or keep it if your dream job offers you a position.

    Get all the education you can. Some places it helps others won't care, but at least you'll have the background if/when you get in. Look into joining a volunteer dept. I was a vollie for 4 years before I was hired where Im at know. Im still trying for my dream job.

    Trust me.....There is NO easy place to get on and absolutely NO place that is gonna come lookin for you. If you want it you gotta take it by being the best.


  4. #4
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    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    I see you posted many questions today.

    The fire service coordinator at Chabot College has a news letter and some articles on getting started with the fire service, it might be helpful for you to read some of the stuff he has available on the website, its free and there is some good stuff in there.


  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2000


    rickdane wrote...

    I'm thinking that instead of sitting around here waiting for a job to come to me...


    I don't know you, but I'll let your post speak for you. Here's some quick advice: You need a mentor - and a new mindset.

    If you are going to be successful, you need to think and express yourself in a successful manner. "Sitting around here waiting for a job to come to me" ??? Goodness gracious young man, you're not settling for a "job" - you are actively seeking a career. Or are you?

    Waiting for a job to come to me? Gadzooks! That tells me you don't have the hunger to become a Firefighter. May I kindly suggest that you do a reassessment of what you want, and what you are willing to do to get there.

    If you can't push yourself, get a mentor that will push you. If you can't do that, consider a tour of duty in the Armed Forces. Rick, you've got all the ingredients you need to succeed, you just don't have the hunger.

    Please no e-mail. Public replies only. Thank you!

  6. #6
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    I'm not being sarcastic here, but the Air Force is an EASY way to break into the fire service. Decent training and if you get to the right base you can get some good fire experience.

    I was stationed at Vandenberg AFB, CA. when I was military and got some very good experience in wildland (naturally) and structural. I'm now at another military installation as a civilian and make about $60K/year as a firefighter/Hazmat tech. Not super duper cash, but not bad either since I work minimal overtime. The suck thing is we're stuck on a 72 hour work week as opposed to the 56, but the IAFF is trying to get that changed and the feds seem to think it's not a bad idea. So we just have to protect our salaries at this point. Also, the certifications I recieved are valuable in the municipal/county sector. Like CSTI Hazmat Ops/Awareness, the various classes from CMC Rescue School, and I was even able to grandfather my Cal State Firefighter 2.

    Just an option.

  7. #7
    Permanently Removed
    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Default Yo...

    Rick- I will keep this short and sweet. If your in California,
    it might be wise to stay in Cali. since this is where a lot
    of the jobs are.

    First PLEASE CONSIDER THIS- A fire job will NEVER come to
    you. Thats right, dont count on it. Burger King will, fire,
    no. There are about 500 candidates for 1 opening. There are
    very, VERY hungry people out there. I was one of them. I put
    off buying a house, getting married and kids to soley focus
    on a fire career. I traveled everywhere on Southwest Airlines
    (cheapest), rented cars, got hotel rooms and even sleep on
    wet concrete just to get an application with 100 other
    people overnight.(Ventura County) Plus, I stayed out of
    trouble and never smoked pot as a kid because some day,
    I knew I was going to be a Fireman, no one, and I mean
    no one was going to stand in my way. (thats what Brian
    meant by being hungry)

    You can not swap out FF1 and FF2 certs. like someone else
    mentioned. California is the most progressive and doesnt
    recongnize other state certs.

    Also, I could consider getting the Paramedic license after
    you do the other proper steps. (Fire Sci. classes, FF1
    academy, EMT and then EMT experience) Two of the top
    rated fire academies are in Southern California- Santa Ana
    College and Mt. San Antonio College.

    Lastly, please go look at the bulletin boards at
    www.firecareers.com You will find many people like
    you there exchanging info. AND, please look at Capt.
    Bob's website- www.eatstress.com

    -Bou (Your California brother)
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 10-24-2004 at 03:09 PM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    S. Jersey/Northern Delaware

    Default Consider the 1st. State

    Yes that's correct....Delaware. Run by all Volunteer Fire Companies with the exception of the City of Wilmington {Full Career Dept.}

    Most of the Volunteer Companies have Full Time Career Members ....Such as in the County I work in....New Castle County

    We have 21 Fire Companies {All Voluntter Organizations with supplimented Career Staff}

    The Career Staffs Main Responsibility is EMS but Fire Responses are part of those duties and becoming more and more frequent due to lack of responding volunteers.


    NREMT, Delaware EMT {Which you can get after being appointed in most companies}

    Basic Firefighting Level I, II
    Vehicle Rescue
    Haz-Mat Ops.

    A Stable Pulse and the ability to push a broom or mop and dump trash are also required....No Hazzardous Duty Pay for Bathroom cleaning....LOL LOL

    Pay Averages are from $13.00hr. to $18.00hr. most shifts are 12hrs. 6am-6pm and a few 4-12'ers like me out there

    NO TESTING PROCESS !!! Appointments are by Application and Interview

    Hiring in the companies happens about 4-5 times a year dur to people moving on and new vacancies

    Fire Load is Good depending on where you work - EMS Is out of control you'll be busy at times and other tours won't turn a wheel.....For example where I work we're at 1029 EMS Runs and 820 Fire Runs with about 20 of those being actual Fire upon arrival

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2004

    Default Get focused

    Instead of looking to go elsewhere and get a job I would respectfully suggest that you buckle down and make yourself a desireable candidate.

    Take your fire science courses, get in shape and learn how to take a fire department interview.

    Traditionally candidates from southern California are extremely well qualified, that's the upside. The downside is that they leave the area, take a job in a small out of state town (from a local person) only to gain exoperience and return to southern California.

    Believe me when I say departments are wise to this.

    Decide where you want to live, get focused and earn a job on the department of your dreams.
    Good luck
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    Author of Smoke Your Firefighter Interview and The Aspiring Firefighter's 2-year Plan

  10. #10
    Permanently Removed
    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Default Yup...

    Most of the above posting is correct. A lot of So. Cal.
    Candidates and career people get their education and leave.
    (me being one of them)

    Some leave and some never come back. Las Vegas is a popular
    place to come and go. I love it there and would love to
    work for one of those major FDs.

    Side note- I am also trying to return to So. Cal.
    Awesome (but crowded) place to live.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 10-29-2004 at 05:12 PM.

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