1. #51
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    Got Mine today as well, but wrong Departure Airport, I live in Madison OH, a suburb of Cleveland. They booked my flight departing Madison WI so now I have to wait for adjusted tickets to arrive.

  2. #52
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    got mine as well. see
    you in houston!

  3. #53
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    Looks like I'm leaving in the April 17th group. I had a knee injury recently, will still be able to go on time, just a little weak in the knee. Anyone else going at the same time e-mail at ff120medic@netscape.com

  4. #54
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    I know this is off subject, but is it our responsibility to take care of all of our shots and immunizations, or do they offer them in houston?

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    Quote Originally Posted by txtruckie2
    I know this is off subject, but is it our responsibility to take care of all of our shots and immunizations, or do they offer them in houston?
    From my understanding you have to take care of all of them before you get there. They send you a sheet with the ones you have to get and you are suppose to be able to get them at the health dept. or your doc's office. You have to make sure though its on that yellow shot record card.

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    Default shots...

    Awesome, sounds good. Thanks for the help.

  7. #57
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    Default Lack of gear?

    You hear all the horror stories from guys that have done their time in Iraq and come back saying that there is a lack of bunker gear. I have noticed that the stories on this subject are a year or more old... Does this mean the problem has been fixed? Are there still issues with gear? If so, would it be a good decision to bring your own?

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    Quote Originally Posted by txtruckie2
    You hear all the horror stories from guys that have done their time in Iraq and come back saying that there is a lack of bunker gear. I have noticed that the stories on this subject are a year or more old... Does this mean the problem has been fixed? Are there still issues with gear? If so, would it be a good decision to bring your own?

    For the most part, the problem is fixed. I have 2 sets of gear (ARFF and structural). Gear gets issued in baghdad. SOME stations have gear there. You MIGHT have problems with certain sizes of gear if they're popular. They try to order, but when it takes MONTHS for it to get there, they have no control over it. But yes, most people are getting issued NEW gear.....

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    Default Gear...

    Thanks... I figured that it wasnt much of an issue anymore, but thought I would ask just in case.

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    Default bout it bout it

    hey all, overnighting my first app by this friday, was wondering about how long the process should take after that point, really anxious about getting outta here, my dept is kinda coming apart at the seems and things are getting bad quickly, so the sooner the better. as always any help is much appreciated.

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    Just got medically released today, from previous knee surgery. Will be leaving for Houston on April 17th. Does anyone know if every base has a place to workout in Iraq, still need some stregthening in my leg. Thanks, Jon

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    Quote Originally Posted by h20squirter
    hey all, overnighting my first app by this friday, was wondering about how long the process should take after that point, really anxious about getting outta here, my dept is kinda coming apart at the seems and things are getting bad quickly, so the sooner the better. as always any help is much appreciated.
    From the time I had my first app put in to the time I left was about a month. The big thing is make sure that you already have your passport cause they will base your leave date on weither or not you have it.

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    that is awesome to hear, i have had a passport for a while now so that hurdle is already cleared. I guess the only holdups i have now is my ProBoard Cert which should be here by thursday-friday, and then my physical. so hopefully in about 4-6 weeks i will be leaving on a jet plane, sorry i know im a dork.

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the info, I'm getting ready to complete my physical on wednesday, WSI will have it on friday. Looking to leave for Houston on the 17th of April. Lots to due still, shots, buying somethings, basic stuff, will hold off on buying most of the stuff until i get to Houston. Thanks, Jon.

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    As far as gear, there is plenty of it in Baghdad now, of all shapes and sizes. Unless you are grossly obese, you should be ok.

    As far as working out being mandatory, it says it is somewhere, but there are plenty of people who I dont think have even seen the inside of a gym. Rumor is that there will be a monthly PT evaluation eventually.

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    Default Manditory PT...

    First of all... I think everyone should be working out on their own. And if not, I dont see any problem with having manditory pt. I know for me, I would want full confidence in the guy next to me that he could pull me out if need be... and he should have the same confidence in me. Just my opinion...

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    well i overnighted out my application out yesterday, so they should have recieved it by 10:30 this morning. hope everything goes quickly, would like to get outta here asap.

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    Oh I know... Just throwin my two cents in.

  19. #69
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    First of all... I think everyone should be working out on their own. And if not, I dont see any problem with having manditory pt. I know for me, I would want full confidence in the guy next to me that he could pull me out if need be... and he should have the same confidence in me. Just my opinion...


    My thoughts exactly.
    Last edited by SwiftFire; 03-27-2006 at 12:34 AM.

  20. #70
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    Default Finally....

    I finally got all my paperwork in... Now just waiting on the plane tickets.

  21. #71
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    Default wheels up date to houston

    i have a wheels up date to houston of may 15 th. anyone else with the same date. would love to hear from ya.

  22. #72
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    Default Salary question

    This thread is great! I just want to say thanks to everybody for taking the time to answer all of the questions. I have some more questions that I was hoping to get answered.

    1.) Are the claimed tax advanteges true or are they overhyped? I'm just wondering how much a FF could hope to actually make there. I'm looking to do this for alot of personal reasons, however, my wife is agreeing to this for the money. If FF's get the **** taxed out of them, and if I don't make a considerable amount more than what I would make here, then she might not be on board. I would need to walk away from this with a bunch of bills paid off ya know.

    2.) How much gear are you required to purchase on your own? I'm reading through the threads and it appears that alot of folks have had to purchase alot of gear on their own. I've also read that WSI will issue some gear in Houston.

    3.) I've also read somewhere on these forums that getting all of your shots, immunizations, etc., can cost upward of $900 or more. That's alot of money, I'm just wondering if this is close to true.

    I guess that's all of the questions for now. I'm sure I'll think of some more later. I have to challenge the tests to get my IFSAC certs and I can't do that until the weekend of June 25/26. In addition, my chief wants me to wait until after July due to overtime issues, contract negotiations, etc. Overral my chief is very supportive of me doing this, it's actually my local that's giving me all the grief. So I actually have alot of time to work out kinks, drop some weight, get tax stuff in order, get the reight certs, etc.

    Thanks again for all the help!

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigflamer
    This thread is great! I just want to say thanks to everybody for taking the time to answer all of the questions. I have some more questions that I was hoping to get answered.

    1.) Are the claimed tax advanteges true or are they overhyped? I'm just wondering how much a FF could hope to actually make there. I'm looking to do this for alot of personal reasons, however, my wife is agreeing to this for the money. If FF's get the **** taxed out of them, and if I don't make a considerable amount more than what I would make here, then she might not be on board. I would need to walk away from this with a bunch of bills paid off ya know.

    2.) How much gear are you required to purchase on your own? I'm reading through the threads and it appears that alot of folks have had to purchase alot of gear on their own. I've also read that WSI will issue some gear in Houston.

    3.) I've also read somewhere on these forums that getting all of your shots, immunizations, etc., can cost upward of $900 or more. That's alot of money, I'm just wondering if this is close to true.

    I guess that's all of the questions for now. I'm sure I'll think of some more later. I have to challenge the tests to get my IFSAC certs and I can't do that until the weekend of June 25/26. In addition, my chief wants me to wait until after July due to overtime issues, contract negotiations, etc. Overral my chief is very supportive of me doing this, it's actually my local that's giving me all the grief. So I actually have alot of time to work out kinks, drop some weight, get tax stuff in order, get the reight certs, etc.

    Thanks again for all the help!
    I won't swear that every tax benefit you've heard rumors of is true, amigo, but I know for a fact that the one the company tells you about is the real deal. Simply put, if you stay out of the US for over 330 days in a 365-day period, the first $80,000 of your income will not be taxed.

    The equipment situation has changed a lot since I went wheels-up in early May 2005, so I don't have specific information for you on this one. When we came through, we did have to buy a lot of our uniform wear, but this has definitely improved since those days. Do they still want you to buy at least a few items? That's something you should ask the WSI staff back in TX or DC.

    As for the immunizations and other medical matters, yes, for some folks they were rather expensive. I was fortunate to have a friendly medical clinic available back home, and I only paid about $35 for the entire set of shots, blood-draws and exam time. Everyone's not that lucky, of course. The good news is that you can file for a reimbursement for that expense. Just be sure to keep all of your receipts, and make sure that the receipts clearly state what you had done.

  24. #74
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    Question Work day

    For those of you who are already over there I was wondering, what is the average work day like. Are you considered always at work, or do you have times where unless something just shy of the world ending you don't have to worry about it? I read in one of the earlier posts that the chances of getting further certifications probably aren't that good, but what about other training? Also, what about CEU's for the EMS certifications? I'm going to try and get mine finished before I go, but just in case I decide to spend a little extra time over there it would be good to know.

    Also, I am a female considering going over there. So, for those of you over there, anything, just the basics, I should know? Like, culturally or anything.

    Thanks,
    K

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by krawllins07
    For those of you who are already over there I was wondering, what is the average work day like. Are you considered always at work, or do you have times where unless something just shy of the world ending you don't have to worry about it? I read in one of the earlier posts that the chances of getting further certifications probably aren't that good, but what about other training? Also, what about CEU's for the EMS certifications? I'm going to try and get mine finished before I go, but just in case I decide to spend a little extra time over there it would be good to know.

    Also, I am a female considering going over there. So, for those of you over there, anything, just the basics, I should know? Like, culturally or anything.

    Thanks,
    K
    As far as I know, right now every base has their people working six to seven days a week, depending on the manning status at each. On your days off you can be subject to recall, at the discretion of the senior site leader. It's not like there's really much of anywhere to go or anything to do, so if you have a day off it doesn't differ that much from your days on the job, except you don't have to wear uniform garb or move around as part of a crew.

    Actually, the opportunities for training and new certifications have improved dramatically since I got in-country. I know a lot of folks who never got offered a single class; I'm walking away from here with at least three new certifications (and I'm awaiting results on a fourth). If you head over here and prove your worth to your leadership day after day, I think there's a good chance you'll get rewarded with opportunities to learn and grow.

    EMS is a sensitive subject over here. No matter what level you're certified at, you'll be operating at a first-responder level. There is a certain amount of medical response training included in the mandated monthly training schedules that come down from HQ; some bases go beyond that, and some scrape by at the minimums, but I haven't heard of anyone getting CE credit for any of their med-related training. Most of the folks I know go online for CEUs or catch up on CE when they go on R&R.

    I don't think that you, as a firefighter who's female, have anything to worry about with coming over here. Since it's extremely rare that we have direct contact with the Iraqi nationals (except those that work on bases) I don't really see the need for any real concern. Of course, common sense is useful; it wouldn't be a good idea, for instance, to fly into BIAP wearing a short skirt.

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