1. #1
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    Question STL to NC relocation ?

    I am considering relocating to FL, NC, SC, VA, of GA. I currently live in the St. Louis metro area and have been employed for 18 years as a paid Firefighter/EMT. I am hoping for info on pay, benefits, morale and potential future hirings. I am also intersted in public schools, cost of real estate, climate and crime. I have spent hours researching FD and city/state websites and some of the cities or metro areas that seem appealing are Charlotte, Savannah, Raliegh, Durham, Virginia City, and Richmond. I am interested in many Florida areas but it seems impossible to get hired with out their state certifications. Any and all info would be appreciated. If we move based on your info I'll buy you a beer or 10. Thanks

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    Read this post and let me know what other questions you have about NC. Also, if you'd like to send me a PM please feel free to do that also. I can help you with the areas in North Carolina that you listed, including some others that you might want to consider. Just shoot me a PM after you read this... http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=81520

    *Sorry, I just realized that you were a guest and I'm not sure if you can send Private Messages. If you register with Firehouse (it's free) you can send me a message or if you'd like, I'll e-mail you. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by FTMPTB15; 06-29-2006 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Not sure about guests and PMs.
    Do it because you love it, not because you love being seen doing it.

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    I can also help you out with NC locations. There are several smaller but busy depts. in western NC, but if you really want the metro areas Charlotte would be your best bet. As long as you find a place to live in the outer area. Feel free to email me if you need any more info. bf1511@firehousemail.com

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    Thanks for the info and link. The pay does look like it will be a hurdle. The NC residents need to show some more love to their bravest. The departments and districts that I have researched look like great places to work and believe me, I realize that higher pay does not always mean higher morale. NC also seems like a great place to live. I am into fitness and water sports and hope to find a warmer climate with less severe winters. I have vacation time coming up in late Aug. and may try to drive over and explore. If there are any places that you can recommend, I could try to visit them while I'm there. Thanks

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    There's a darn good reason why so many people come to NC to vacation, and I'm sure you'll see why when (if) you come to visit. If you're looking to go to the beach, the Outer Banks are excellent; a bit of a drive, but wonderful nonetheless. There is plenty to do in the mountains. If you like Whitewater rafting, kayaking, hiking, biking, fly fishing, etc. Let us know where you are thinking about going and I can give you some more information about things to do.

    As for departments and pay.. probably the best paying department in NC is going to be Charlotte. CFD is also the biggest and busiest and largest in NC. I would highly recommend visiting Charlotte and stopping by at a station (or two). Also, if you'd like to, you can do a ride-along which would give you an inside look of Charlotte FD. If you'd like more information about Charlotte I'll be glad to help you.
    Other good departments in NC are: Greensboro, High Point, Raleigh, Wilmington.. It all depends on what you're looking for. Lots of fire? Top pay? Great opportunities for promotion?

    Also, the cost of living in NC is excellent compared to some of the other areas you might be considering (say, Northern VA). Also, most departments that I know of in NC do not have any type of residency requirement and many firefighters live in much cheaper areas and work where the money is.

    Let me know what else you want to know about and I'll do what I can to help.
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    Great info...it seems NC would be a great fit for me and my family. Is there a public school district that stands out as having a good reputation? Everything looks great for me and my wife, but raising my boys in a great environment with good schools is my first priority. Any idea what Charlotte firefighters top out at and how long it takes to top out? They have a very informative website which does make it look like a great place to work. All F.D. recruiters should take notice. Thanks

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    Default FF in NC

    I have two things you should think about. First is federal service if you are under 37. (That is the cut off age for new FF). Starting pay is about $53,000 with full federal benefits. Second is the station I volunteer with. I know people hear volunteer and cringe but it is actually a combination Dept that runs 4 engines, a state certified heave rescue and one of 3 service trucks for the entire county. That is all out of one station. We have a sub station that runs one engine also. The pay is about $30,000 which is at least $5000 more than any other station in the area to include the big cities nearby. It is a county station in Cumberland County just west of the city of Fayetteville. The Army base Ft. Bragg is about 20 minutes away. In addition to the Equipment we have a 4 story drill tower, a brand new Gym, New gear and everything is in fantastic shape. The paid guys that work there really do a great job keeping everything looking and working just like new. The web site is www.stoneypointfire.com not all the links on the page are working yet but it is about 50% finished. We are switching from day paid staff to 24 hours paid staff so we will be hiring 4 or 5 people in the next few months. There are also about 85 volunteers so short staffing isn't really ever an issue. If you have any questions Iíll put my e-mail below. Good luck on your search.
    Mike
    MEApplegate@aol.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by cvame2202
    Is there a public school district that stands out as having a good reputation? Everything looks great for me and my wife, but raising my boys in a great environment with good schools is my first priority.

    Any idea what Charlotte firefighters top out at and how long it takes to top out? They have a very informative website which does make it look like a great place to work. All F.D. recruiters should take notice. Thanks
    I am a graduate of CMS (Charlotte-Mecklenburg (public) Schools) and I never had 1 problem with the schools. Obviously depending on what area of the county you live in will determine the calibur of school your sons will attend. From my experience, Myers Park HS (strong academics with the I.B. Program (International Baccalaureate), great area of town, good teachers), Providence HS (again, nice part of county, good students), Independence HS, Butler HS, and South Mecklenburg HS are all good public high schools. Also, if you can afford it, there are many different private schools which are all very nice and have high standards/expectations. I'm not sure, but some of those might even offer discounts to "Public Service Professionals" (again, I'm not sure about that). Some of those include: Charlotte County Day, Charlotte Latin, Charlotte Catholic, Providence Day School, Charlotte Christian, etc. Those are the 'main' ones, but there are many smaller schools as well. It really all depends on what type of school you're wanting your sons to attend. If public school is the route then expect larger class size and the normal B.S. that comes with public school (e.g. people who don't really want to be at school), but if you prefer (and can afford) private school then I'm sure you're sons will get an A+ education.
    Here is the link for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools . Click on the heading titled 'Schools' and you will be able to find a section called 'School Profiles' on the left. That will give you all the information you need about every school (elementary - HS) in the district, including information about demographics, performance, number of students, etc. Let me know if you need any different information about CMS, I'll see if I can't help you out.

    As for your second question, go to this site and scroll down (to the 4th question from the bottom) and that should help answer your question about topping out. Those numbers are not totally accurate (as they have increased), but you can get an idea. Also, if you have more specific questions (feel free to ask them here or..) you can e-mail Charlotte Fire Department Recruitment Office . Hope this has been helpful, let us know if we can help you with any other information.
    Do it because you love it, not because you love being seen doing it.

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    Thanks Guys, your info definitely helps with my research and gives me some destinations to check out. I really like Charlotte, it looks like it's pretty hard to get on there but I think I will travel there this Fall. Another place that looks nice is the coastal area around Nags Head, this area may be an easier sell for my wife. Combination Paid/Vol departments are definitely a possibility, I don't know about there, but with urban sprawl the combo districts here are the places that are growing with increasing pay and more chances for advancement. Thanks again, and if anyone has anymore info let me know.

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    Also, if interested, there is a web site called FireNews.net which highlights all of NC Fire Department's news and recent (significant) calls. I guess it would be the Firehouse.com for NC. It too has a Forum and might be a good place to ask more questions, as most all of the guys are from NC and are from all over the state. Good luck!
    Do it because you love it, not because you love being seen doing it.

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    I'll check that out, Thanks

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    Why would you want to leave MO? I love it there. just wondering.

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    I love Missouri too! St. Louis is a great place to live, the firefighter salaries in the area are excellent with a low cost of living and I live in a nice area in west county. This is why it is so hard to sell my wife on the move. We both have always wanted to live at or near an ocean and mountains. The activities that living in an area like NC are what attract me. If I can find a good fire department with decent pay that would hire a "near 40 year old", I will take my family on a trip and let the area sell itself. But I am not unhappy in STL, if we do not make the move we will still be very happy here. Also moving to NC would add about 1000 miles between me and the inlaws

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    I see. I agree on the in laws part of the deal. later
    J

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