1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default firefighter1, firefighter2, FO1

    Hi all,

    My name is John Walter. I'm a vol firefighter in PA and I am pursuing a career in the fire service. I'm currently in school for my bachelors degree in fire science managment; I have about 2 more years to complete it. I've been a firefighter for about 6 years now and I've been concerned about getting my FF1, FF2, FO1, rescue core, etc. Is it bad for me to apply to a large department (say a department with their own training academy) having already acheived my FF1, 2, etc. Does it put me at a disadvantage during the hiring process having theses before I enter the academy. Over the last several years I've been very hesitant to get them because i've heard many departments frown on having these certifications before entering the academy. Is this True or is it ok for me to take these tests. My vol. department is really starting to push me to get it, and I plan on staying another year till I finish my paramedic class. So whats everones thoughts on this. I really would like to take them, but should I wait or go for it.

    John Walter

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Thumbs up

    Go get your FF1&2. I don't think any departments would look down on this. It may not give you an egde in a big city process, but it certainly won't put you at any disadvantage. Every fire academy will be a little different and every department does things their own way. I would encourage you to get some academy experience with FF1&2 while you're volunteering and finishing up your degree.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    First and foremost continue with your education. Get it while you are young and don’t have the commitment of a family and bills. You will be glad you did.

    To answer your question NO department would hold prior training against you. In fact, it’s is 100 percent the opposite. Most major fire departments have our own department fire academy. You will learn how to do things OUR way. As a matter of fact, we will tell you on day one of our academy to forget everything you have previously learned. The reason for this is oddly enough; we all so things just a little differently and carry different equipment. This is one area the cops are smarter than us. They have a certification called POST (Police Officer Standardized Training). A cop in one side of the state can work with a cop from another simply by having the same training.

    Even though we will tell you to forget everything you have learned, completing a basic fire academy tells the department that you:
    • Have the manual dexterity to work with the equipment’
    • Are not afraid of heights or fire
    • Can work in a team environment
    • Can perform under pressure
    • Can learn a great deal of information in a short period of time

    Major fire departments lose 25-40% of recruits in their basic academy. Statistics show that someone who has completed a basic fire academy prior to getting hired has a MUCH greater chance of being successful.

    In your case, it will also make you a greater asset to your volunteer fire department.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Default Get em

    Your best day could be to complete your medic cert and get some street time. If along the way you could get in your FF1 and other pursuits all the better. No they won't hurt you. A department will consider you trainable if you've had already had a hands on academy.

    Just remember when you go to your entry level interviews to leave you volly time and rank in your locker.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"


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