Im pretty new to this forum, and Im one of those people that really would love to become a fire fighter. Im 17 years old, and I'd really like to get a idea of what is out there for becoming a fire Fighter in Texas.
What I would like to know, is if there is a better deparment to work for?, and what is one of the departments I would stray away from.
I live in Alaska right now, but im from Texas. Brownwood Texas, if anyone knows were that is.
I know where Brownwood is, been there once before. As for saying what FD is good and what ones to stay away from, sorry but since this is a public forum I will not post that info. There are several in the metroplex of Dallas/Fort Worth that are good an decent but have long lists of people trying to get on.
If you want to increase your chances, start with getting your FF cert and paramedic cert. Also if you have military time in, you get extra credit for it.
I would suggest getting paramedic first. Just about anyone will put you through rookie school. Hope that helps
Well in order to be a Firefighter in the State of Texas you must complete a commissioned approved basic structure fire suppression training program. Then you must pass the commission's basic structure fire suppression examination, given after all your training. A minimum grade of 70 is required on the written examination; the performance skills test is pass or fail. Then show proof to the state completion of required emergency medical response training. The State only requires you to be an ECA, but all firefighting agencies in Texas will require a minimum of an EMT-Basic. The State only requires 468 hours of basic fire protection training, but some academies exceed that number. Now if you received your training through the Military you may submit your training to the commission staff for review. Now remember the commission charges a non-refundable fee of $35 for each records review conducted for the purpose of determining equivalency to the basic training program. Also on top of that price there is a non-refundable $20 fee to apply for certification. When the commission receives your completed application, the certification staff will conduct a background check. If you pass the criminal background check and meet all other eligibility requirements, you will then be issued your certification. Or you could always apply and take the Civil Service entrance examination for the City of San Antonio, or any other major city in the state. They will make sure you meet all qualifications to become a firefighter in the State of Texas. Don't forget your DD Form 214, most cities will grant you an additional 5 points on the examination.
Here are some of my favorite web sites.
Be patient, it could take 2 or 3 years to find a job. Good luck.
I don't mind helping you determine which departments are better. This is based on other conversations and people I know on those departments.
Higher pay - anything around the DFW metroplex, Austin, San Antonio
Departments where you ride an ambulance (which some don't care for) - San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Keller, San Angelo, Mesquite, and probably some others.
Progressive departments - Ft. Worth, San Antonio
Departments known to deal with a lot of human trash - Dallas, Houston
Department in a large Christian community - Abilene
Department in a college party town - San Marcos, Lubbock
Lubbock, Abilene, and most smaller suburban department require some level of EMS certification plus fire certifcation as a requirement to apply.
There's a lot of competition in larger urban areas (anything along I-35). There is less competition in West Texas (San Angelo, Abilene, Midland, Odessa, Amarillo, Lubbock).
Being from Brownwood you may remember that the western half of the state pays lower than the I-35 corridor cities. The cost of living is a little bit lower, but not that much.
I'm sure others have more input that will help you out.
Im still looking for a job myself...but here's the advice I can give:
Do NOT try solely for one department or get your sights set on that. Sure it's nice to be able to get paid more, be close to home etc...but get anything you can first then try to find out how to get where you want to go.
Second, if you can find cities websites check them. They may have a list of job openings including firefighter as well as the requirements that they want you to have. Along with this check the TCFP website, they have a list of agencies that are hiring who have submitted notice to them.
Get Paramedic certified. Im just north of Dallas in Carrollton and I have found not many departments will take EMT-Basic. The ones that do usually require so many college hours that the quickest way to achieve them while learning something relevant is to take a paramedic course anyway.
Dont think you will get hired on right away. I've been holding my own certification for 3 years now. Tested for everyone I meet the requirements for and weren't too far away....in other words...twice. One of them the only reason I didnt make it past the written test was because they bumped one guy ahead of me (he had a slightly lower test score, but also a paramedic certification) to put him in the top 20. From that group they only hired 1.
Ambulance means more overall positions, hwich increases your chances of getting hired. In Houston, paramedics rotate from apparatus to ambulance. I drove an ambulance for 3 years as a chauffer, got a pumper, now drive a truck. It ain't bad because it's fire-based EMS.
Originally Posted by agavegrove
As for the "human trash," I reckon we mean by that rougher areas of town. That's where the fires are, so if you want to make fires...