Thread: CDF Academy

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    Default CDF Academy

    I'm looking at different options for becoming A wildland firefighters. What can you tell me about the California Department of Forestry Academy, and employment with the CDF?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfireguy View Post
    Also--realistically, in order to get even a seasonal Firefighter I position with CDF, you're going to need:
    CSFM Firefighter-1 Cert
    HAZMAT FRO
    EMT-1
    CDF 67 hr Wildland Cert (sometimes included as part of the FF1 academy curriculum)
    as well as at least 1 yr of VFF or PCF time.

    I realize what the job "requirements" say (over age 18, HS diploma or GED), but the reality is that when a huge majority of the applicant pool has the above certs, that raises the bar you have to meet in order to become a "competitive" applicant.

    Now, the Feds (USFS, BLM, NPS, etc) seem to be a lot easier to get on with...might try that route.
    Avue Digital is the favored online application service for USFS, you can search jobs and apply online with them pretty easily.

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    Thanks guys. I saw the requirements, mtn, and the Academy seems to cover most everything you will need (I already have my NR medic as it is, though I may need to retest for the State, as I didn't get in it Ca).

    I'm really looking for an Academy to attend, more then anything, that will give me a good amount of wildland training, and the CDF seems to have it together.

    Where do most people attend school? Is the fire school attended by most Urban firefighters adequate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Futureresq View Post
    Thanks guys. I saw the requirements, mtn, and the Academy seems to cover most everything you will need (I already have my NR medic as it is, though I may need to retest for the State, as I didn't get in it Ca).

    I'm really looking for an Academy to attend, more then anything, that will give me a good amount of wildland training, and the CDF seems to have it together.

    Where do most people attend school? Is the fire school attended by most Urban firefighters adequate?
    If you're currently certified as an NREMT-P, you should be able to apply for a California Paramedic License without further testing, as CA uses National Registry standards for our EMT-P testing. Local accreditation is a whole different story, but you must first have a State EMT-P license and a conditional offer of employment from an ALS provider agency prior to getting local accreditation in most counties/EMS regions.

    Back to the Fire stuff, though:
    Any CSFM (Cal State Fire Marshal--they're responsible for setting training standards for FFs in CA) accredited Fire Academy is going to offer the basics of fire suppression... structural, wildland, and interface. They're also pretty much going to cover the same topics, since the basics (operation of hoselines, power tools, hand tools, ventilation, SCBA, etc) are required material for the SFM Certified Firefighter-1 Training Record, which's necessary for the SFM FF-1 certification (and that's necessary if you want a paid position in this state).
    Most community colleges that offer Fire Academy programs also offer the "specialized" CDF 67-hour wildland training as a separate course for those who want the 67-hour cert without a full Firefighter-1 Certification Training Record.
    Now, as to NWCG "Red Card" standards, I know that some CC academies run S-190, etc ... but I don't know of any that include those classes as part of the regular "Fire Academy" curriculum, if that's what you're after.

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    Thanks 1141. I'm just looking at ways to get into wildland, and everyone here in Texas says "Move to Cali." So I'm really trying to decide what should come First, the schooling, the moving, or the Employment...

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    Futureresq -

    The feds (Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and Fish & Wildlife Service) will all give you the training for wildland if you get hired.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futureresq View Post
    Thanks 1141. I'm just looking at ways to get into wildland, and everyone here in Texas says "Move to Cali." So I'm really trying to decide what should come First, the schooling, the moving, or the Employment...
    Well, like Rx said--with the Feds, schooling and employment go hand-in-hand.

    With CDF, good luck getting employment before schooling...I hear it can be done, but not often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man View Post
    Well, like Rx said--with the Feds, schooling and employment go hand-in-hand.

    With CDF, good luck getting employment before schooling...I hear it can be done, but not often.
    Not true, especially if your a medic, come down to the RRU of CDF and apply for the FFII medic position they generally hire over 50 new medics a year, most with no fire expierence(trust me it annoys the heck out of alot of people) you'll get a good mixture of wildland firefighting as well as urban firefighting. And you'll get all the training you could want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dustinlevengood View Post
    Not true, especially if your a medic, come down to the RRU of CDF and apply for the FFII medic position they generally hire over 50 new medics a year, most with no fire expierence(trust me it annoys the heck out of alot of people) you'll get a good mixture of wildland firefighting as well as urban firefighting. And you'll get all the training you could want.
    Yes, true! Unless your unit is bypassing CDF's hiring standards, which clearly state that regardless of EMT-P cert or not, a Firefighter II must have 6 mos of F/T FF experience or a year as a "Certified Volunteer Firefighter". You don't get 6 months of F/T experience in this state without a CSFM FF-1 cert in your grubby little hands.

    But hey, if they're hiring 50 new medics a year, there must be a reason for it (since I'm guessing 50/year is pretty close to 100% turnover)...
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man View Post
    Yes, true! Unless your unit is bypassing CDF's hiring standards, which clearly state that regardless of EMT-P cert or not, a Firefighter II must have 6 mos of F/T FF experience or a year as a "Certified Volunteer Firefighter". You don't get 6 months of F/T experience in this state without a CSFM FF-1 cert in your grubby little hands.

    But hey, if they're hiring 50 new medics a year, there must be a reason for it (since I'm guessing 50/year is pretty close to 100% turnover)...
    They're hired and employed with Riverside County Fire Dept. which is a contract county dept w/CDF the hire standards are different I believe as I know as I stated before a LARGE group of medics that have been hired zero fire expierence. It's not nearly a 100% turnover rate, the dept is just creating more and more paramedic jobs. From a couple of years ago when there were none till currently where there are hundreds within the county, and more coming, battalions 4 and 14 are becoming medic battalions after the new fiscal year which will open up an additional 35-50 paramedic positions.

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    Hello, just thought that I would throw my 2 cents since I am a FF/PM for the Riverside County FD/CDF. First we ae not employed by the County, we are employed by CDF, all of our turnouts, rigs, equipment and stations are owned by the Riverside County Fire Department as are our Volunteers. However, the patches on our uniform shirts and our paychecks all say CDF (Soon to be "CAL FIRE", but that is a different topic). All hiring is done through the state and we are currently having an open recruitment for firefighter paramedics, you can download the app on the cdf website. RCFD/CDF is a great place to work. The pay is good (even though the job flier does not reflect it, it is!), the benefits are fantastic, the department is busy and GROWING, we have about 10 new stations being built in the next few years. We are currently expanding our paramedic program so eventually all units will have a medic, including all our 7 ladder trucks and even possbly our helicopters. The days of guys using RCFD/CDF as astepping stone are slowly coming to an end. Things are really good and are even getting better. By the way, in my hiring class of 25, all but 4 had a CSFM Acadamy and the rest all had PCF or seasonal time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bchtown View Post
    Hello, just thought that I would throw my 2 cents since I am a FF/PM for the Riverside County FD/CDF. First we ae not employed by the County, we are employed by CDF, all of our turnouts, rigs, equipment and stations are owned by the Riverside County Fire Department as are our Volunteers. However, the patches on our uniform shirts and our paychecks all say CDF (Soon to be "CAL FIRE", but that is a different topic). All hiring is done through the state and we are currently having an open recruitment for firefighter paramedics, you can download the app on the cdf website. RCFD/CDF is a great place to work. The pay is good (even though the job flier does not reflect it, it is!), the benefits are fantastic, the department is busy and GROWING, we have about 10 new stations being built in the next few years. We are currently expanding our paramedic program so eventually all units will have a medic, including all our 7 ladder trucks and even possbly our helicopters. The days of guys using RCFD/CDF as astepping stone are slowly coming to an end. Things are really good and are even getting better. By the way, in my hiring class of 25, all but 4 had a CSFM Acadamy and the rest all had PCF or seasonal time.
    Your right, sorry, I confused myself a little bit lol. I dont know when you were hired but it seems from what i've heard of the recent hires many of them don't have academies, and just have very little volunteer time. At least the few I've talked too, but then again I've talked to many AMR medics who can't get hired because of lack of expierence. So now that I've contradicted myself. The dept. is very busy we increased call volume by roughly 10% in 2006 I believe and we're on our way to an even busier year this year, if you saw the January call volume info. The department is growing as stated there are about 10 new stations scheduled to open in the near future as well as the rest of the non medic battalions becoming medic, and some A engines being added to B houses. So if you're a medic with any expierence this is a great dept to work for.

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    Hey to all of you wildland firefighters. I have soooo much respect for you. I am a professional firefighter with 16 years on the job 10 min. South of Chicago. Fighting fires in below 0 weather is pretty bad, but you guys take the cake for being nuts. And I mean that lovingly. Everytime we see the fires in Cali and other wooded states, were like 'those people are crazy'.

    Thanks for all you do for those morons that keep building homes where the bears live and where there are no hydrants.

    Be as safe as you can please.

    Joe

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