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  1. #61
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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


  2. #62
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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.

  3. #63
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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.

  4. #64
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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.

  5. #65
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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.

  6. #66
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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...

  7. #67
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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.

  8. #68
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    Oh I know... Just throwin my two cents in.

  9. #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.

  10. #70
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    Default Finally....

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

  11. #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.

  12. #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!

  13. #73
    unrepentant fool ranahan's Avatar
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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.

  14. #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

  15. #75
    unrepentant fool ranahan's Avatar
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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.

  16. #76
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for all the help, words of wisdom, and advise. I leaving for Houston on Monday April 17th. Looking forward to meeting new people, a experience of a life time, and a interesting time. For those of you there good luck, and those waiting to go, look forward to seeing there,
    Thanks, Jon

  17. #77
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    Well I have been in country for a month now and it is going GREAT! PPE is all issued in victory(Everyone in my group and after that has gotten there ppe.) My opinion on the shopping list and from others now that are coming in DONT buy that stuff you are waisting your $$! In houston you are gonna get 5 bdus,5works shirts 2 coveralls, 2boots and a bunch more stuff. Then when you get into victory they will issue you more gear if you want. I picked up more shirts. You are gonna run into your disgruntle ff's, dont listen to them!! This place is easy to work at, I have a bunch of good officers and ff's here and yes there is bull**** but your gonna have that anywhere you go. I can easily do a few years doing this!!

    What else, where I am at they have 2 gyms,YES we do work out. It is mandatory to work out but they dont enforce it! Trust me what else are you gonna do?

    Anyone have anymore questions just ask?
    Josh
    joshmahnke@msn.com

  18. #78
    Forum Member trooperthorn's Avatar
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    Default Finally deployed and updated info

    I finally deployed April 10th. I am currently assigned to Tall Afar. I updated the lists as I remembered, if someone sees changes please let me know. The guys at station 2 Tall Afar have bought into Internet for our hooches, others are not so lucky. We have conex (those shipping boxes used for overseas shipping) as hooches, some have stations that they live in and a few unfortunate have tents and one I know of is a tent on the flight line for those early wakeup calls. There are every type of firefighter here, just like back home. There are the 2/20's (2 yrs on the job act like they have 20), those that feel they have more rights or knowledge than others, and of curse you have those that should never have held a hose let alone survived this long in life. On the other hand you have those that have knowledge and great experience, some come from some of the busiest fire stations in America and know what fire looks like, and you will take away from here whatever you make it out to be. You can hate your officers, look bad or make your crew look bad, or shine and do your job and come home with the dough to give your girl the greatest gift any girl has seen(except for the girls of those that stay 2yrs). I hate the phrae but it fits way too often, Chicken or Beef (those are your choices on the flight home.) With pride, I am here to make money, get a little more experience, see new things, and in the end bragging rights.

  19. #79
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    Default Finally deployed and updated info

    I finally deployed April 10th. I am currently assigned to Tall Afar. I updated the lists as I remembered, if someone sees changes please let me know. The guys at station 2 Tall Afar have bought into Internet for our hooches, others are not so lucky. We have conex (those shipping boxes used for overseas shipping) as hooches, some have stations that they live in and a few unfortunate have tents and one I know of is a tent on the flight line for those early wakeup calls. There are every type of firefighter here, just like back home. There are the 2/20's (2 yrs on the job, act like they have 20), those that feel they have more rights or knowledge than others, and of course you have those that should never have held a hose let alone survived this long in life. On the other hand you have those that have knowledge and great experience, some come from some of the busiest fire stations in America and know what fire looks like, and you will take away from here whatever you make it out to be. You can hate your officers, look bad or make your crew look bad, or shine and do your job and come home with the dough to give your girl the greatest gift any girl has seen(except for the girls of those that stay 2yrs). I hate the phrae but it fits way too often, Chicken or Beef (those are your choices on the flight home.) With pride, I am here to make money, get a little more experience, see new things, and in the end bragging rights.

  20. #80
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    Default military exp.

    does anyone know if you are prior military do you still need to go through WMD / NBC training. I thought I was done with that in boot camp.

    also, I am in the Naval Reserves. is anyone in the reserves and was able to get the leave of absence to go to Iraq as a fire fighter?

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