1. #1
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    Default some questions AF ff and X-training

    Hi all, I am a 4 year enlistee coming up on my crosstraining window and have a few questions. I am looking at crosstraining into Fire fighting because like many this is intially what I wanted to do when I joined, instead I got put in the maint. career field and now my time has come to cross train out. Anyways my questions are:

    1) How long does the process take to cross train into FF ? How long can I expect to waite before going to tech school.

    2) I know it varies from base to base, but whats the average deployment rate like? I heard like every 20 or so months??

    3) Is there anything I can do to prepare myself for tech school besides pt?

    4) any vision requirments?

    5) Has anyone been to vandenberg afb, CA as a FF? Did you like it or not?

    Sorry for the long post. I just have soo many questions lol. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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    1) Not really sure on X-Training...I came in guaranteed

    2) We deploy on the standard AEF Schedule. Also on occasions we will deploy for humanitarian relief. For OPSEC reasons I won't say the exact times. For more information on AEF Rotations, check your PFE it gives you the exact deployment times. I will tell you this, we deploy fire fighters on every rotation assigned to our base. It's very manageable though. I'm married w/ 3 kids and we do fine.

    3) Work on your strength and endurance. Your going to work with heavy ladders, tools, and practice dummy. You should be strong enough to not only work with things, but last a long time. A great mental additude is also important. You have to really want to be a fire fighter to be successful at the academy.

    4) Correctable vision is not a problem, unless your glasses are telescopes. Trouble with color blindness and depth perception may hurt you.

    5) Never been to Vandenberg, but I heard it was a good assignment.

    I hope this helps you! If you have any more questions, let 'em rip!

    ~FireDawg~
    Last edited by mlbates72; 12-09-2006 at 02:09 AM.

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    My only concern with the vision req.'s is depth perception. When I went through meps 3 years agoo they said I had no depth perception, yet I went to lens crafters afterwards and they said I did have it. Well to make a long story short I submitted a waiver and it was denied. Does anyone know what the vision req.'s are for fire fighter?? Thak you for answering my questions, I am sure I will have more.

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    Default Hey

    I'm a firefighter and I got in without depth perception, although I actually do...the lady at meps didnt speak any english and I didnt know what the hell she was telling me to do so I guess I failed it...again, I actually do have DP, but in my file it says I failed it at MEPS so you should be good.
    Color blindness will DQ you though.

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    Cool, pretty much same thing happened to me at meps.

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    Anyone else currently going through the cross training process in the AF for fire fighter? If so how long has it taken you to hear back after you first submitted your app for x-training?

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    I am going to do the best to anwser your questions. Right now I am at Goodfellow, I am in Block 3 of my training. I did retrain out of 2W071 Munitions (AMMO).

    1. I put my package in Febuary of 06, got my class date middle of May. Started class 13 November. Things have changed a bit, I think now that the whole retraining process is online it might take a bit longer. Well worth it IMHO.

    2. Dont have a definite anwser. From what I have heard depends on the base.

    3. Get yourself in good shape, get your legs strong. FF pt assesment will be done the first week. Seen alot of people fail. 6:02 for me, and I am 28.

    4,5. Sorry cant help you. I have perfect vision, and havent heard anything about Vandenberg. My guess is its slow, no aircraft.

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    Cool, I appreciate the info. Yes the entire retraining process is online now, which makes it a little easier and hopefully quicker then before. you said

    " Things have changed a bit, I think now that the whole retraining process is online it might take a bit longer. Well worth it IMHO."

    Just curious why is it worth it to take longer?

    Hey here is a question for you USAFSSGT. I am not a big guy, fact is I am 5'7 and about 140-45'ish, Is there any small guys in your class or that you have seen? and how are they doing? do they seem to struggle with anything? Just curious because I want to be able to prepare myself for any hardships I may come upon. I know size does not matter, its the dedication that matters and how bad you want it. I just like to be prepared for whatever I may encounter.

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    Default Ah

    My friend, sorry to say; but size DOES matter.

    I went through at 5'9 and about 150. I was in amazing cardio shape, and somewhat decent physical strength, it sucked, I could have made it a LOT easier on myself.
    Since i've been in the fire service i've gained 40 lbs. of muscle (2 1/2 years) and obviously, i'm still the same height. If you really want to be a firefighter you're going to have to do the same thing, although maybe not as drastically.
    Start lifting weights ASAP. EAT, ALOT. Talk to a physical trainer if you're not sure where to start. It's going to take a long time, but do it, otherwise, you're going to regret it.
    And no, the fire academy is not the only thing you're training for.
    Try pulling out 20 victims in a C-17 crash or run up 10 flights of stairs before you get to a fire. To mitigate THESE incidents, is what we train for. You better be ready.

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    For Some reason I can't post my own thread...

    So I'm in the Airforce DEP hopefully firefighter, I have over 20 Firefighter related Certs. My recruiter tells me that he only get 30% of the jobs, the other 70% is at BMT. He said I'm going down there as general. show the guy who assigns jobs my Certs and i will get firefighter. Is this true or should i just wait in DEP and put down Firefighter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    For Some reason I can't post my own thread...

    So I'm in the Airforce DEP hopefully firefighter, I have over 20 Firefighter related Certs. My recruiter tells me that he only get 30% of the jobs, the other 70% is at BMT. He said I'm going down there as general. show the guy who assigns jobs my Certs and i will get firefighter. Is this true or should i just wait in DEP and put down Firefighter?

    As far as I know, prior certs has nothing to do with placement. Just what happens to be open at the time. I have seen some general get in as firefighters, but most do not. Sorry for the bad news, but maybe you will get lucky.

    On a side note, if you have had firefighter training already, you may be able to test out of certain blocks. I would advise a against it though. Goodfellow has a wonderful school. It makes a great refresher and can make you a better firefighter.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    The academy is great.

    Sorry, but your certs wont mean anything to get your job. I was guaranteed because i am guard, but the time to "definitely" get in as a firefighter was about a year to 16 months ago. They were flooding the dorms like mad craziness. I heard its slowing up again (when i first got to Goodfellow, half the rooms were empty and some of us had rooms to ourselves). I would try and get yourself guaranteed if its what you really want to do.

    As far as size. I was 5'10, 150 when i got into tech school. I had previous firefighting experience, so i knew how to do some things to negotiate my size, but being bigger and having stamina is a big plus. Stamina is definitely the key in firefighting. Strong is great, but if you get tired pulling the first two vics out of the KC-10 and theres one left, what are you going to do? In all seriousness though, if you have heart you can do it. We had a young women, prolly 5'3, 110lbs get through it. ALL GUTS....its what you make of it..

    Good Luck
    -Stanton

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    For Some reason I can't post my own thread...

    So I'm in the Airforce DEP hopefully firefighter, I have over 20 Firefighter related Certs. My recruiter tells me that he only get 30% of the jobs, the other 70% is at BMT. He said I'm going down there as general. show the guy who assigns jobs my Certs and i will get firefighter. Is this true or should i just wait in DEP and put down Firefighter?

    Recruiter tales for numbers

    Iím a retired USAF SNCO. Recruiters have and interesting job and will tell recruits all kinds of half-truths. If you want to be a firefighter either hold out to get a guarantee slot or ensure your ASVAB scores are high enough to ensure a grantee slot. By going open general you have but a small chance of entering the firefighter career field. Open general fills all the hard to fill jobs from Services to Security Forces.
    I was a USAF Firefighter my first 4 years from 1980 to 1984 at Mather AFB, CA, Being a base Firefighter/EMT was a great job but I was unfortunately Palace Balanced along with over 1000 other firefighters when they shrank the force in the summer of 1984. During my time I was lucky enough to be sent back to Chanute (Goodfellow in the old days) for Firefighter Rescueman and P-2/P-4 (now museum pieceís) school. I ended up in F-15 avionics maintenance; but never got an opportunity to go back to the firefighter career field, as avionics was always critically short. The biggest thing I saw over the years was the advancement in technology in the equipment and tools. Training is different to, back in the dark ages we actual fought practice pit fires utilizing thousands of gallons of contaminated JP-4 fuel on the weekends. Now I belive everyone using the natural gas set ups. I always wondered how they teach guys how to deal with running fuel fires out of a nacelle with natural gas? I guess the EPA loves it. Good luck but if I were you I would hold out until they can guarantee you a slot. If you are in DEP you maybe out of luck and will have to roll the dice at Lackland.

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    They actually do use running fuel fires on the exterior C-130 burn at Goodfellow now. Its in combination with the propane and the amount of JP-8 is up to the instructor (ours was cool and lit that bitch up HIGH)....

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    [QUOTE

    So I'm in the Airforce DEP hopefully firefighter, I have over 20 Firefighter related Certs. My recruiter tells me that he only get 30% of the jobs, the other 70% is at BMT. He said I'm going down there as general. show the guy who assigns jobs my Certs and i will get firefighter. Is this true or should i just wait in DEP and put down Firefighter?[/QUOTE]

    If you want to be a firefighter, GET IT ON PAPER there is no reason that a recruiter can't do that for you, yoru not in the military you can say no all the way up to the time you get onto base at Lackland, seriously if you want to be a firefighter, wait it out, unless you want to watch jet son a flightline or cook eggs for me in Services when I come to the Hall on the rescue truck! GET IT ON PAPER !

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    Quote Originally Posted by HEDQUIZZY View Post
    [QUOTE

    So I'm in the Airforce DEP hopefully firefighter, I have over 20 Firefighter related Certs. My recruiter tells me that he only get 30% of the jobs, the other 70% is at BMT. He said I'm going down there as general. show the guy who assigns jobs my Certs and i will get firefighter. Is this true or should i just wait in DEP and put down Firefighter?
    If you want to be a firefighter, GET IT ON PAPER ... GET IT ON PAPER ![/QUOTE]

    And THAT my folks is all you need to know!!!!!
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    I went open general and wouldn't do it again. Be ready to wait for the job you want. Just be ready once you do get it, mentaly and physically. This is your chance to call some of the shots and the better you do in basic and tech school the better it will be for you!

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    I was in Dep for both the Marines and Air Force. I told them that the only job I wanted was Crash Fire Rescue and whoever could get me the job first then I'd take it. They changed their pace, the AF SSgt showed me conformation ON PAPER!!! and I was off to Lackland in less than a month and at the Academy seven weeks later. Don't settle for Open General.

    Oh yeah, its my last shift as an Air Force Firefighter! Hoorah!
    Last edited by Firedawg42; 02-05-2007 at 11:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firedawg42 View Post
    I was in Dep for both the Marines and Air Force. I told them that the only job I wanted was Crash Fire Rescue and whoever could get me the job first then I'd take it. They changed their pace, the AF SSgt showed me conformation ON PAPER!!! and I was off to Lackland in less than a month and at the Academy seven weeks later. Don't settle for Open General.

    Oh yeah, its my last shift as an Air Force Firefighter! Hoorah!
    This man speaks the truth... If you allow Open General, You're inviting trouble, especially if you are hoping for Firefighting. If you don't have it on paper, it's just fantasy.

    -Damien

  20. #20
    cgerdes97
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeEater316 View Post
    My friend, sorry to say; but size DOES matter.

    I went through at 5'9 and about 150. I was in amazing cardio shape, and somewhat decent physical strength, it sucked, I could have made it a LOT easier on myself.
    Since i've been in the fire service i've gained 40 lbs. of muscle (2 1/2 years) and obviously, i'm still the same height. If you really want to be a firefighter you're going to have to do the same thing, although maybe not as drastically.
    Start lifting weights ASAP. EAT, ALOT. Talk to a physical trainer if you're not sure where to start. It's going to take a long time, but do it, otherwise, you're going to regret it.
    And no, the fire academy is not the only thing you're training for.
    Try pulling out 20 victims in a C-17 crash or run up 10 flights of stairs before you get to a fire. To mitigate THESE incidents, is what we train for. You better be ready.

    Hey Blaise, how about a C-5 with 40 vics, but the catch is it's with 11 FFs total.. CT drivers suit up and pull out bodies after the fire is out. We miss you.

  21. #21
    cgerdes97
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    For Some reason I can't post my own thread...

    So I'm in the Airforce DEP hopefully firefighter, I have over 20 Firefighter related Certs. My recruiter tells me that he only get 30% of the jobs, the other 70% is at BMT. He said I'm going down there as general. show the guy who assigns jobs my Certs and i will get firefighter. Is this true or should i just wait in DEP and put down Firefighter?
    Have fun being a COP then!

    ...seriously, its been drilled enough to ya on this thread, make sure you get it on your contract. Air Force Fire Protection is sizing down considerably, it would be VERY unlikly that you would get placed in firefighting going in open general. ...WRITTEN DOWN ON PAPER.

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