Thread: How come I hear crickets?
07-30-2006, 04:33 PM #1
How come I hear crickets?
I never see alot of StL area or Metro East Brothers post in here...much less the other side of the state. What gives.
Hats off to all the boys and girls who worked 7/19 thru 7/24. Companies in the city were running 30-40 runs a shift! Just shows that when IT hits the fan we cab still get the job done no matter what the circumstances.
07-31-2006, 02:47 PM #2
I'm here for you brother LOL.............
It is like a ghost town compared to the IL forum.
I was on 4 over the storm week, but you guys looked good on the tube!
How do you like the Lou compared to IN?
07-31-2006, 03:23 PM #3
I worked the day after the storm (Jul 20th). Our enginehouse had no power so no TV, A/C, fridge, etc...I missed just about all the news coverage, when I got home the next day I crashed!
All in all....I love it here. There is BS no matter where you're at, but for me anyway, it's alot less stressful and the job is much more enjoyable. I do miss the guys I worked with. I worked with a couple of them the entire time I was there. Good bunch of guys. Too bad everything else was too f"ed up. It had a potential to be a great place. I wasn't the first to leave...I won't be the last.
I can say there are a few things here I scratch my head about, but hopefully they can straighten out soon.
If you don't mind me asking...whereabout are you on the job at? I know a few county guys, and have family in there area.
07-31-2006, 08:13 PM #4
I'm over in Kirkwood, I also spent a short time at Clayton.
I'm a transplant to STL also, from far SW MO. It is different for sure, some good some bad, but I like the areas I live (St. Charles City) and work. I tip the hat to you on landing the job from out of state, I hear it's pretty tough to get in the door at STLFD without doing time on EMS.....etc.
You are at the 2's I assume? Must be a pretty fun place to work I would think?
You a Cubs fan being from IN? I like the Cards......I suppose.....but I grew up going to games at Wrigley and am a fairly big Cubs fan, something I keep under wraps most of the time LOL.
07-31-2006, 10:42 PM #5
I actually grew up in IL about 30 miles from here. Always been a Cardinal fan, but ya beat a ball game at the Friendly Confines!
I'm at the 7's on Jefferson just south of Chouteau. The 7's is int the 2nd District which indludes the 2's (heart of downtown), 11's (Soulard), and the 1's (Jefferson just south of Gravois). If anything downtown is burning...we'll be there.
Kirkwood...don't you guys have the firehouse that looks like a castle? I always wanted to visit that house. Wife and I love St. Charles, especially the old downtown. We have family that live off of 94 and 40. It's considered St. Charles, but closer to Cottlesville.
07-31-2006, 11:32 PM #6
I used to work at that Safety Educational facility called SSS Inc. at Jefferson and Park part time. The owner was on the job at the 27's in the 80's early 90's. He got injured and started an OSHA cert. facility, he hires guys from the FD to teach PT. Good job, but too far from the house LOL!
I do work at the "castle", it was completely renovated and remdeled in 2003. It looks very interesting from the outside, but is actually very plain and boring inside LOL.
I live in Mid-Town St. Charles near Lindenwood University, about 12 blocks from Main St. I like it, that's a good FD there, we just lost a guy this year to SCFD. Kirkwood is nice also, but the same house in KWD is 2-3x's the cost!
Come by the Castle some day, huge house, 3 trucks, 3 guys LOL!!
08-02-2006, 09:16 AM #7
Wow 3 guys? Sounds like my old FD. Do all 3 of you ride one rig or each drive 1? Definately would like to check it out though!
When I was up north, I worked for an industrial safety company that did pretty much the same thing (fall protection, confined space, some HazMat, etc). It was good money. Would't mind getting back into that.
I think if I actually had a choice, I'd live in St. Charles. Seems quiet and peaceful. My nieghborhood is pretty nice, but I'm not impressed w/the schools. I can't afford private school, but they have transferred to a different magnet school so I guess we'll have to see.
08-02-2006, 04:59 PM #8
Yeah I like St. Charles, it's pretty quite and alot to do outside...etc. The city schools do seem to be in turmoil most of the time, do you live on the SW side? Seems like most city guys do.
Here is a photo of the new "castle".......(I tried and it didn't work for some reason)
At this house we always have 3 guys on an ALS engine, sometimes an ALS ambo depending on staffing, and a reserve 75ft ladder.
Call that Safety Support Services at Jefferson if you are looking for PT work, the owners name is Doug Meuller, when I worked there 3-5 years ago PT he had several STLFD guys working there, a guy named Greg from L15 and Dave from SQ2 (3-5 years ago). Doug was a great guy and since he was on the job he is great to work for, works with your schedule and relief times...etc.
They are at 1410 S. Jefferson.
Last edited by FHandz15; 08-02-2006 at 05:02 PM.
08-03-2006, 05:56 AM #9
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
I'm from the other side of the river but I'd like to work for STLFD. I volunteer at Godfrey Fire District (combination, 13 paid, 25 vol, 42 sq miles, 20,000 pop, 1500 calls/yr) and I'm a LEO at the Federal Reserve in downtown.
I work midnights where nothing much goes on unless it is a weekend. I see E2 quite often and the scanner picks up city fire alarm as well. Mansion House, Gentry's Landing is always good for an auto alarm a couple times a week.
I recently talked to Capt. Richardson at the Academy and he said that they are putting on a class this month. He also said they might test again in January. I hear all kinds of things about city workers preference and that they havent tested in 4 or 5 years. If you have anything to add or correct feel free.
I would also like to do a ride along. If you have any suggestions on what company to request I'm all ears. I hear alot about E28 and I met Russ Richter at a training class a few months back.
We had 47 calls from the Wednesday storm. It was definetly a crazy night.
08-04-2006, 09:10 AM #10
It is confirmed that a class of 20 will begin the 21st of this month. The current list will be 3 yrs old in December. I would imagine they will be testing soon. I'm trying to find out just how soon it will be.
City employees who are not on their probationary period get hired before non city emplyees. However, not only was I NOT a city employee, I came from out of state, scored very well, and got hired in the 2nd class off the list. 50/50 hiring no longer in effect, so that helps non-city emplyees. I am 99.9% sure it's a done deal they have changed the age cap to 30.
28's is a good company to do a ride along on. They are the busiest company in the city. Well over 3,000 runs a year. Lot of fire duty. Old traditional looking firehouse. E28, H&L 15, B/C 805 run out of there. They are also part of the HazMat Task Force and keep some of those rigs there too.
08-04-2006, 09:13 AM #11
Anything else I can help ya with, just ask.
08-04-2006, 08:14 PM #12
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
Thanks for the info. I'm 24 so I still have a few years left, I just hope they test within the next 6 years!
I'd be interested in the testing process. How things are weighted, written, agility, etc.
I'm testing in Springfield IL in the fall as well.
If I were to get on STL the biggest challenge would be convincing my wife to move, as well as the school system.
So do I just call up HQ to request a ride-a-long on 28? Just wondering how the guys feel about people riding along. Are they going to say, look at this STLFD wannabe... or say lets show this guy how we do things?
08-06-2006, 03:11 PM #13
Written test is basically reading comprhension and self evaluation. No math, no memorization.
Abilitiy test consists of raising an extension ladder, hitting a target w/a sledge X amount of times, carrying a hose pack up 3 stories, simulate starting a saw, back down the stairs, drag a charged handline, and finally dragging a rescue dummy. If I remember correctly, on the ability test you get one of three ratings (excellent, good, fair) somethng like that. Obviously the better your time the better your score.
During the oral you're asked 3 or 4 questions and your answers are based on your life experiences.
I'll see if I can find how all this is wieghted. If you made it this far you're put on the list. If they call your name you will have an interview w/the CFD, a deputy, and another official. After that, your physical exam and off to the academy. 13 weeks of PT, lecture, hands on, quizes, and quarterly exams. When you graduate you should be FF I/II, HazMat 1st Resonder/Ops. You have a year to get your EMT.
Are you talkng about Springfield, IL? I lived there for a while. Good dept. I tested there once, didnt get on the list, but thats a whole other story.
If you get hire here in the city, you do not have to move in right away. A number of people are working on residency right now, but it's anyones guess how that will turn out.
As far as a ride along. Most of the guys are used to visitors. If you don't walk in there and act like you did time on E82 in the South Bronx in the 60's and 70's, they will treat you pretty good. They'll make sure you get your nickles worth. Contact HQ for details how to ride.
anything else drop me a line.
08-06-2006, 09:24 PM #14
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
Thanks for the good gouge. Sounds like a pretty clear cut process.
I'm taking EMT national next week so that will be one check in the box. Unfortunately all of my Illinois FF certs. mean nothing in MO. because Illinois is not an IFSAC state.
Yes, Im testing in Springfield Illinois. The big plus for me with Springfield is that I wouldnt have to move and my certs count. I have heard good things about that department.
Their testing process is somewhat convoluted. It looks like they are going after minorities. I don't know the history but I'm thinking they were accused of not hiring enough. This year they have added an additional test site... Malcolm X College in Chicago.
I'm not going to be picky I'll take St. Louis or Springfield anyday.
If ya don't mind I'm all ears for anything about St. Louis FD. Maybe if you could give me the good, the bad, the ugly? I know pay starts at 34, but what about after probation and EMT? How do you get assigned to your first company? Are there opportunities for special teams?
08-09-2006, 12:03 AM #15
I'm a st. louis fire buff if that counts for anything.
08-09-2006, 11:28 AM #16
As you probably know, there is BS no matter where ya go. I've friends associates coast to coast. From FDNY, to Chicago, to California.
Most of it is the same. Some is just more intense. Just read the top headlines at firehouse.com today. There has been bickering going on here for years that the promotional exams are racially biased. I don't know if they are or not. I just know I'm gonna make myself well prepared to take it when I'm elgible.
Most of the guys I've met so far (black or white) don't make an issue out of any of that stuff. Everyone seems to get along, and if they don't, it's more of a personality conflict than a racial issue.
I've been around this business my whole life, and have been draggin hose myself for nearly 18 years. I don't stress over the silly $h!t anymore.
The pay scale is kind of whacky. Starting pay is around 34k and some change. You get an annual rate increase every year you are on the job. $1200 raise after probation. Pvts. top out at 52k and change. When you get promoted, your pay depends on how many years of service you have.
The only 2 things that i'm dissappointed with are the schools and health insurance. I've got 3 kids and can no way afford private school. They go to "Magnet Schools" which are supposed to be better than regualr public schools. If you plan on putting yur wife and/or family on the city's health plan...prepare for sticker shock. I believe for the whole family it's like $600+/month. Thankfully, my wife has a job where she has good insurance.
As far as assignments go...the Valedictorian of the class usually gets a good assignment. Ours got sent to E10, and he has caught a real job damn near everyday since we graduated. I think it helps if someone important at HQ knows who you are. If they know you, and do well in the academy they will make sure you get a good assignment. I came from out of state and no one really knew me. I wouldn't say I got a bad house, but we don't see alot of fire. Most of those extra alarm fires you've seen on the news lately have been in our area though.
Special Teams....depends at which house you are assigned. Specific houses are assigned to a team..ie. the companies at the 28's and 29's are the HazMat Task Force, E11/E27 have the Marine Task Force, and so on.
My company, E7, along with E1, R1, and H&L6 have been assigned to a Regional Special Rescue Task Force. We respnd to major disasters, building collapses, and so on. We trained with the US Marines Chemical Biological Incident Response Force my last work day. Mostly hi-angle rescue stuff.
08-10-2006, 05:55 AM #17
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
Sounds like the typical things with any department.
How is the academy? It is military like or laid back? What about PT? Im pretty fit but Im not the best runner. 2,3,4 mile runs? Care to go over a typical day? How many made it through vs. dropped out?
I'm checking the city jobs board every day... waiting, waiting.
08-10-2006, 10:41 AM #18
Academy is far from laid back. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of push-ups. And not just during PT. They try to make it like military boot camp, but there might have been one or two instructors that were actually in the military. Rumor has it that one guy watched "Full Metal Jacket" 10 times to get into character. What a character he was. Academy classes vary in intensity depending on who is running it, and what the privates can get away with.
Our mornining began at 0630. About a 30-40 minute run which could include push-ups and trips up and down the 8 story tower. Sometimes we even had to run in full gear w/SCBA on our backs! If it was a rainy morning or they were tired of watching us run around the parking lot, we bunkered up and ran up and down the tower for a half hour. After morning PT, you had 15 minutes to change and be ready for roll call.
For roll call, you lined up in your platoons and waited for uniform inspection. You better be cleaned, pressed, and gig line in order. Every week, you had to learn a district where each enginehouse was located and/or the radio signature of a support vehicle or command staff. If you couldn't answer (or your assigned partner), someone was doing push-ups. Oh ya, for violations you added 10 push-ups for each week your in the academy. And you did push-ups on THEIR count!
Classes and evolutions thru out the day. Usually a "guest" instructor. Either a Capt. or B/C came in and did the lecture. We didn't get to burn nearly as much as anyone wanted to. The class after me got to burn alot more.
Let's not forget afternoon PT....Min. 10 trips up and down the tower. If I remember, we did close to 20 one day. This is all either in full gear, or your uniform.
We started w/30 in our class. we lost around 7-8 initial recruits and graduated with 28 including the alternates.
If you 'd like to know more about the academy and/or the secret to making thru it send me an email so I can respond back to ya.
08-13-2006, 04:01 PM #19
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
I would also like some info on the next hiring process. I've been interested in STL City FD for along time. Would love to get on down there, Any info would be great.
08-13-2006, 05:20 PM #20
The current list will be 3 yrs old in December. I heard we may be testing in January, though from no one official. I would be really surprised if they tested before that anyway.
Recruit class due to start the 21st. That would make them graduate mid November.
I'll keep everyone posted.
08-24-2006, 09:52 PM #21
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
St Louis City
St. Louis City is probably one of the worst places to work under the current fire chief. He is a racist!! Refuses to promote based on the fact that the top firefighters on the list are white. Morale is the lowest it has been since I have been on the job, 19 years. This department is a mess check out their board
08-28-2006, 11:20 AM #22
I agree with joker...there are problems here. I may be a "new *****" at StLFD, but I've been around the block more than a few times on the job (13 yrs paid, 5 volly).
With all the problems here, as a new guy who has not had to deal w/a lot of the issues that have been going on, I'm still in paradise compared to where I was.
I dealt with 2 man companies (sometimes less), lousy pay (my paychecks are only $100 less as a probie here than 12 yrs on the job there), NO training for new guys, jobs being threatened (layoffs/attrition), leadership that didn't care and/or know what to do, crappy pension, even worse benefits, poorly desgined/insufficient firehouses, morale???? what morale??, I could go on and on.
Maybe the fire service as whole is more screwed up than what everyone realizes. Chicago, FDNY, Boston, even smaller departments are having similar problems as StLouis.
I guess you could also say the job is also what you make of it. You could work for the Perfect FD, USA, and you're still gonna have bad eggs. I knew what was going on here before I even put my ap in. I see whats going on, but as a "NP" I'm keeping my mouth shut, and just observing. I'd love to be at a busier house, but I can't complain about my assignment. HUGE renovated enginehouse, my Capt. treats me well, I have no problems and get along fine w/my crew (black and white guys). I come in to work on time, in proper uniform, fit for duty, do my job, ride backwards on a big city engine co. That part of the job can't get much better.
I guess I disagree that this is one of the worst places to go. I have seen/worked at places thousands of times worse than here. Of course it could be better, but i wouldn't discourage anyone from trying to get on here. We need as many spunky, motivated, non-corrupted, hard working people as we can. It's gotta start somewhere.
09-05-2006, 10:19 PM #23
Dam looking at that board it almost make a mental hospital seem like paradise.
09-06-2006, 04:40 PM #24
trust me..there are worse places.
09-06-2006, 06:34 PM #25Originally Posted by fieldseng2
I agree with you on that one.
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