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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber RoughRider's Avatar
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    Default NY Volunteer looking to be paid FF in Fl.

    I'm looking for help, ideas, guidance to become a paid firefighter in Florida. I'm an NYS EMT - D, Have Natíl FF I certification and many more from Nassau County Fire Academy in NY. There are opportunities listed on this site that I would like to apply for but want to do my homework before hand.
    Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.

    The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.


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  2. #2
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    Let me help you out. You want ideas and guidance, I will give you a checklist. Here goes:

    1. Move to Florida
    2. Get you Fl state EMT or National Registry EMT
    3. Apply/attend any number of FL fire academies
    4. Apply for the hundreds of openings
    5. Consider medic school

    Reasoning: FL does not accept/offer reciprocity for any other states fire certs. If you think you have enough hours and training, you may challenge the test, but I assure you that you will fail. It is a ball buster. After 10 years as a paid fire/medic, I had to redo the academy, so take that for what its worth.
    If you do not have National Registry EMT-B or higher, you are again offered no reciprocity. You must do EMT class and be either state certified or national.
    Why do I tell you to become an EMT before going to fire school? Because admission is competitive and you are given points based on certain criteria. Those that are EMT's get in before those that are not. I do not know of any place that will hire you as a FF only. You have to be minimum of EMT.
    Once you have both of these completed, apply for jobs. They are a plenty and if you are not picky, you can be picked up relatively quick.
    After obtaining experience, consider medic school or if you are having no success, consider this route as most of the departments are hurting for medics. Several departments will hire medics with no FF experience and then send them to the academy. This is only an option if you are already a medic.


    Now, lets talk timelines for all this. If you move to Florida ASAP, you could get into a fall EMT class very quickly and have it done by December. As soon as you move here, you would need to start applying for fireschool. Depending on where you go, some are already full till 2007. If you go to a college and do your EMT through them, they will usually guarentee a slot in their fire program. Realistically speaking, you could be ready to apply for a job towards the end of 2006. Since most departments do their big hires during July, it could quite possibly be that long before you get a job.

    I am not trying to disuade you from this route, but I want you to know exactly what you need to expect. There are others on this forum who will tell you the same thing. DAVE1983 is another valuable resource. If you need any further information or have any questions, feel free to seek me out.

    Good Luck!

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber RoughRider's Avatar
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    Thanks, AKflightmedic.

    Currently checking with the Fl DOH to see If I can just test or take some sort of refresher instead of going through the course again.
    Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.

    The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.


    IACOJ PROUD

  4. #4
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    Default

    I moved from NJ as a 8 year volunteer FF. I to had to start all over again. Yes we used the same IFSTA books but it's alot more hours. And after all that I got hired. There are tremendous oppurtunities to get hired in FL. Just give the state your money for school first!!!

  5. #5
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    Default Any state to FL

    If you are a Paramedic in another state, you simply need to apply for reciprocity, and take the Florida Paramedic written exam.

    If you are a Pro Board Certified FF 1 & FF 2 you are eligible to challenge the State of Florida FF 1 & 2 certification, both written and practical exam. In addition if you are certified from out of state I do believe you can simply sit for the FL FF 1 exam, and if you pass, then you simply have to take the last 6 weeks of the academy to receive your FF 2.

    www.floridafirejobs.org Check it out for more information.

    If you are Florida Paramedic certified most departments will send you to school to get your FF certification.

    I made the NY to FL transition 5 years ago... it was very easy.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber RoughRider's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks to all !!

    Its appreciated.
    Ltmedic35, did you move there first or did you start the process while in NY?? I was also considering starting a EMT ~ CC (AMT) program until I wrap up my affairs here in NY. Do you think I should just wait? I wont have to pay for it if I take it here.
    Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.

    The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.


    IACOJ PROUD

  7. #7
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    Default

    Okay, I have some good news. First, with the new legislation in Florida, they made some sweeping changes with regards to reciprocity. I called myself and confirmed with a live individual. The number is 850 488 0595. Anyways, as the law now reads, anyone who is certified by another state and is current and fills out a form of good standing(avail on the website) will recieve reciprocity. You no longer have to be National Registry to challenge the exam. In fact, you no longer have to challenge the exam, just do paperwork and you are good to go. This all took place this year. Yahoo. Wish they would have done this many years back. Here is the link for you to view.
    http://www.doh.state.fl.us/demo/EMS/...faq.html#cert2

    As for the fire certification, you can challenge the FF I exam if you are Pro Board. You still need FF II before most places will hire you. This means you need to get on the ball and start calling the academies. While Lt Medic made it sound as easy as snapping your fingers, I went through this very same thing not too long ago. The academies are filling up quick. It is a competitive process to get in the schools. As for challenging the exam, I could not prove enouogh hours in the breakdown to challenge, so I redid the academy. Yes I was angry, but after taking the final exam, I was glad I did. There is way too much info on the final that we forget over time. Had I been allowed to challenge the written, I probably would have failed. I also included a link for you to see for yourself what is needed.

    http://www.fldfs.com/SFM/bfst/Standard/StdFFCrt.htm


    Good Luck!!

  8. #8
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    Default Standards

    I understand your questions as I moved from California to Florida and found the difficulties of switching my credentials over. If I was you I would challenge the FF 1 test, as it is not that difficult and you can trust me I am a state certified instructor. After you get your 70 on that test e-mail the state fire college in Ocala and check into the 6 weeks long FF 2 class. You live at the college and it only takes about 6 weeks and then you are FF 1 and FF 2 in Florida by December. Plus some places will hire you with just FF 1 under your belt if you have experience somewhere else. If you are coming to the Northwest get in with a volunteer station and you can get into the EMT class at the Navy base in Pensacola for free, it is 9 to 4 Monday through Friday for 3 weeks and the last Friday of class they come to your class and you test. I only warn you if you have never been around volunteers, as I had never until here, they are unique individuals and there seems to be a little resentment towards paid firefihgters still. Good luck!

  9. #9
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    I will be relocating to Florida in two weeks from today. I, like some of the others posted here, tried to transfer my qualifications through reciprocity with little success. I was unable to challenge the state exam for fire with a two-year college degree and will be enrolling in the 12 week fire academy. It is very difficult to transfer existing fire training as you have to have met or exceeded the minimum number of hours for Florida, Which is alot. Additionally, I have to take a "state developed" Paramedic written test as the state does not offer full reciprocity for NREMT-P. Although this all is a drag it is just hoops to jump through to get what you want.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  10. #10
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    FirefighterPM, are you sure you still have to challenge the state test. That is why I posted the number and info above. I just called last week and the guy told me they have full reciprocity with National, that you no longer have to challenge the test. If this is wrong, please let me know so I may edit, but like I said, I just called myself, so I was wondering if the guy made a mistake or what.

    Anyways, when I moved to FL several years ago, I too was national and had to challenge the state medic test. It was pretty easy but you had to make an 80 or higher.

    Anyways, good luck to all of you guys moving to FL.

  11. #11
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    AKFlightMedic

    I just got off the phone with the DOH in FL via the number you had posted and they said that eventhough I am National Registered as a Paramedic I still have to pass a written test to be certified in Florida. Bummer, I believe it is still the same as when you had to take it, with the same 80% passing grade.

  12. #12
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    FFPM

    That really bites. I am going to call again and talk to the same idiot and let him know he is giving bad information.

    Anyways, my email is jsmart75@hotmail.com

    Email me and I will send you an excellent study guide developed specifically for the FL challenge test.

  13. #13
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    From what I heard FL no longer excepts out of state or nationally recognized EMT/PM certifcations. I know it really sucks, but like I said before the state wants there money so you can get that cert.

  14. #14
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    Damn AK ya got my hopes up!!! ive been trying to pass that damn test for a year now i miss it by 1-2 pts every time!!! I have your study guide and it did help, i wish they would let you know what you did poorly on so you could study for it. now my time is getting short and need toi renew my ACLS and CPR, cpr no problem dont know if i cna do the ACLS in Fla with an out of state card. anyone know?
    Any commander who fails to exceed his authority is not of much use to his subordinates. - Arleigh Burke

  15. #15
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    FireDan
    I would think you should be able to refresh your ACLS as long as it is an American Heart Association or equivalent card. Are you living in St. Petersburg right now. I will be relocating there in less than two weeks.

  16. #16
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    Fire Dan

    Yes, you can renew your ACLS card anywhere. In fact, you do not even need to be a medic to take ACLS. Anyone can take it, its just a matter of whether or not you can use it. So go refresh your certs and take that damn test and pass it already. Ok?

    Good Luck!

  17. #17
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    I have to apologize to anyone who was temporarily excited over that misinformation with regards to reciprocity in FL. I did call back and talked to the upper echelons and they confirmed all is the same as it has always been. Gosh darn it!

    Anyways, the only thing that has changed is they no longer do the test with pencil and paper. It is administered by prometric testing centers and that means you can take the test anywhere in the US or Canada that has a testing center. That would have been nice a few years ago when I had to dive 10 hours to take it.

    Sorry again about the bad info.

  18. #18
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    thanks AK... i have tried to get that info from the local CEU place where i live and nobody replied to the email....i have been studying so i should pass next time!!!
    Any commander who fails to exceed his authority is not of much use to his subordinates. - Arleigh Burke

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