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  1. #1
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    Default Questions about Colorado FDs

    Hello all,
    I have gotten some great responses via email, but am gonna post for all to help me. I'm a Prof FF/Paramedic in Florida with 3 yrs exerience, ACLS instructor, PALS instructor and NREMT-P, and should be relocating to CO sometime in the next 6 mos. The job market in FL is quite good, and FF/Medics are in demand to the point that most of us get unsolicited job offers on a regular basis. With that said, I have no idea of the availability of jobs in CO. My questions are as follows, and I'd love to get replies either on here on in PM.
    1) Job outlook for certified FF/Paramedics.
    2) Length of time and procedures to get hired there.
    3) How do I transfer my certifications to CO?
    4)Goes along with number 2, but how long will it take me to get a job and will I be required to attend another Fire Acadamey?
    5) How far from district do you have to reside?
    6) Salaries and retirement
    Thanks in advance for your responses!
    Dave
    Last edited by davo455; 12-25-2005 at 07:51 PM.


  2. #2
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    Default

    Dave: This is a big state. We have lots of fire departments that run ALS service. You need to narrow your questions to the general location where you are moving. There are all sorts of hiring systems in place so it is tough to give you a good answer. Welcome to Colorado!

  3. #3
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    Thanks Bigjim!
    Looks like we're gonna have to reside within around 3 hours of NW Denver or Westminster. Around my part of FL most of us commute 1 1/2 hrs so thats not a problem for me. I'm 35 and would prefer not having to attend another full acadamey. Thanks again for the advice!

  4. #4
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    Within 3 hours of NW Denver could put you in a job in Cheyenne, Wyoming, or Union Colony Fire Authority in Greeley, or Poudue Fire Authority in Ft. Collins, or... I guess the point is 3 hrs from Denver covers a lot of fire departments. When you get out here, you'll figure it out. As soon as you get here, check with the state dept of health to see what you have to do to convert your PM to Colorado. I'm not a PM, but you'll want to start the process if there is one. Lots of places are requiring PM at the entry level. Good Luck.

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    Are people there hurting for medics as badly as FL? Or is it a 6 month to 1 year process to get on? With snow and ice, how far away from work can I reasonably live?

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by davo455
    Are people there hurting for medics as badly as FL? Or is it a 6 month to 1 year process to get on? With snow and ice, how far away from work can I reasonably live?
    In short, no. The demand for paramedics is not as high in Colorado as it is in Florida. Yes, it will help you get hired, but it is no golden ticket like on the east coast.

    I know that long commutes are the norm on the east coast, but they are not in the front range. Some firefighters will live about an hour away, but most live in town (every place is a little different, so it is a generalization). Don't wait for reciprocity, fill it out as soon as you can so you have your ducks in a row. In Colorado, it is a relatively painless process if you have an NR card. http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/em/emhom.html

    With the exception of Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, and Colorado Springs, I have never seen a lateral FF/PM process. Aurora just started doing a lateral process I believe. Colorado Springs hasn't done one in a few years. Castle Rock and Parker regularly hires one or two laterals here and there.There may be some small departments which require certs because they can't afford their own academy however. One note about the academies in the front range: it seems to be the norm in the East Coast to have ridiculously long academies. Departments around me have 5-8 month academies. That is considerably longer than most Colorado academies. Generally, you are looking at 10-13 weeks, including orientation and car seat technician. Also, almost everyone requires EMT-B to get hired, so you don't have to sit through EMT-B in the academy.

    To find these websites, trust in your friend google.

    A little bit of info about some departments:

    Denver: BLS first response. Very traditional. City-run ALS transport that is a seperate department. Some squabbles between EMS and fire. As far as frequency of fire, Denver and Aurora probably see the most.

    Aurora: ALS first response. Also traditional. Rural Metro is the ALS transpot and I don't know much about their relationship. A couple of Aurora guys were instructors at my FFI class. They were paramilitary hardasses, but good guys.

    South Metro Fire Rescue: ALS transport and considering ALS first response in outlying areas. Just did a hiring, don't expect another one until the fall. They are a rapidly growing department and pay very well. You will have to go through their academy, which is 11 weeks. Medics get preference in hiring. If you are interested, check out their ten-year plan on the website (I think it is under the BOD section). www.southmetro.org

    West Metro Fire Rescue: ALS transport and ALS first response. Everyone is required to become a medic. After you are cleared as a medic, you ride on the ambulance until you have enough seniority to not have to ride anymore. They are on a hiring freeze, but they hire every two years (next hiring is expected to occur in a year).

    Colorado Springs: ALS first response with limited ALS transport. AMR does the transport, although CSFD has one or two ambulance. Rumors about replacing AMR, but it was voted down in City Council. There is a definite possibility that it will happen though. Rapidly growing department with lots of opportunites for advancement. They pay very well and the springs is a great place to live, it is where I grew up. The city passed a sales tax increase right after 9/11 to fund police and fire capital projects, so new stations pop up every year. Medics get preference in hiring. Next hiring is June 06.

    Poudre Fire Authority: (Fort Collins) BLS first response. Transport is provided by hospital-based service. Rumors about replacing the service, but it won't happen soon, if at all. Widely recognized as a great department to work for in terms of employee satisfaction and opportunities for specialization. Medics get no preference. Very hard to get hired. Next two-year list is formed in 07.


    Those are all the departments that I know something about. If anyone knows more or finds that I have anything wrong, please correct it. Also, here are other departments that provide ALS transport or first response:

    Cunningham
    Littleton
    Englewood
    Evergreen
    North Metro
    Thornton
    Southwest Adams County
    Longmont
    Windsor-Severance
    Union Colony
    Grand Junction
    Castle Rock
    Parker

    Reply if you have any additional questions. I may be able to answer you, if not I know a few people that I can direct you to with specific departments. Have a great day.

    Eric

  8. #8
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    Default

    Boulder Rural also has ALS engines, but not transport.
    Mountain View Fire has ALS ambulances and transports.

  9. #9
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    Default Parker

    If youre still looking at this thread, I know Parker Fire is hiring and will accept apps til the 27th of January. Requires EMT-B minimum and CPAT certificate valid thru June i believe.... go to www.parkerfire.org.... They are a great department, 5 stations planning on i think at least 2 more. I did my EMT-B course through them, it was taught by a few of their fire-medics. Excellent class, great guys. The town itself is about 20-30 minutes south of the southernmost part of Denver, its growing rapidly so this is a great time to apply there.....anyways good luck!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricCSU
    In short, no. The demand for paramedics is not as high in Colorado as it is in Florida. Yes, it will help you get hired, but it is no golden ticket like on the east coast.

    I know that long commutes are the norm on the east coast, but they are not in the front range. Some firefighters will live about an hour away, but most live in town (every place is a little different, so it is a generalization). Don't wait for reciprocity, fill it out as soon as you can so you have your ducks in a row. In Colorado, it is a relatively painless process if you have an NR card. http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/em/emhom.html

    With the exception of Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, and Colorado Springs, I have never seen a lateral FF/PM process. Aurora just started doing a lateral process I believe. Colorado Springs hasn't done one in a few years. Castle Rock and Parker regularly hires one or two laterals here and there.There may be some small departments which require certs because they can't afford their own academy however. One note about the academies in the front range: it seems to be the norm in the East Coast to have ridiculously long academies. Departments around me have 5-8 month academies. That is considerably longer than most Colorado academies. Generally, you are looking at 10-13 weeks, including orientation and car seat technician. Also, almost everyone requires EMT-B to get hired, so you don't have to sit through EMT-B in the academy.

    To find these websites, trust in your friend google.

    A little bit of info about some departments:

    Denver: BLS first response. Very traditional. City-run ALS transport that is a seperate department. Some squabbles between EMS and fire. As far as frequency of fire, Denver and Aurora probably see the most.

    Aurora: ALS first response. Also traditional. Rural Metro is the ALS transpot and I don't know much about their relationship. A couple of Aurora guys were instructors at my FFI class. They were paramilitary hardasses, but good guys.

    South Metro Fire Rescue: ALS transport and considering ALS first response in outlying areas. Just did a hiring, don't expect another one until the fall. They are a rapidly growing department and pay very well. You will have to go through their academy, which is 11 weeks. Medics get preference in hiring. If you are interested, check out their ten-year plan on the website (I think it is under the BOD section). www.southmetro.org

    West Metro Fire Rescue: ALS transport and ALS first response. Everyone is required to become a medic. After you are cleared as a medic, you ride on the ambulance until you have enough seniority to not have to ride anymore. They are on a hiring freeze, but they hire every two years (next hiring is expected to occur in a year).

    Colorado Springs: ALS first response with limited ALS transport. AMR does the transport, although CSFD has one or two ambulance. Rumors about replacing AMR, but it was voted down in City Council. There is a definite possibility that it will happen though. Rapidly growing department with lots of opportunites for advancement. They pay very well and the springs is a great place to live, it is where I grew up. The city passed a sales tax increase right after 9/11 to fund police and fire capital projects, so new stations pop up every year. Medics get preference in hiring. Next hiring is June 06.

    Poudre Fire Authority: (Fort Collins) BLS first response. Transport is provided by hospital-based service. Rumors about replacing the service, but it won't happen soon, if at all. Widely recognized as a great department to work for in terms of employee satisfaction and opportunities for specialization. Medics get no preference. Very hard to get hired. Next two-year list is formed in 07.


    Those are all the departments that I know something about. If anyone knows more or finds that I have anything wrong, please correct it. Also, here are other departments that provide ALS transport or first response:

    Cunningham
    Littleton
    Englewood
    Evergreen
    North Metro
    Thornton
    Southwest Adams County
    Longmont
    Windsor-Severance
    Union Colony
    Grand Junction
    Castle Rock
    Parker

    Reply if you have any additional questions. I may be able to answer you, if not I know a few people that I can direct you to with specific departments. Have a great day.

    Eric

    adding to the list of departments near Grand Junction
    Clifton and Lower Valley

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