1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,047

    Default Military experience

    Here are some thoughts for people in the military who aspire to become municipal firefighters.

    Military Experience
    Candidates who have served our country in the Armed Forces have a huge advantage over those who have not. It is generally believed that while a military veterans may not have as many certificates and fire science units as the other candidates (they were busy serving our country), they offer so much more.
    There is no substitute for life experience. The personal growth a young man or woman experiences in the military is second to none. This growth is of course magnified depending on the assignments held. Many of those who joined the military at a young age grew up very rapidly when put into dangerous situations.
    Being assigned to the front line is not required to get ďcreditĒ for serving in the military. Fire departments realize that there are many support roles that require dedication and commitment. While there is only one person on the nozzle that puts out the fire, there are numerous other assignments that need to take place on the fire ground. It is important that a firefighter be willing to work in a support role for the good of the team.
    The fire service is a para-military organization. Many of the common terms in the fire service, such as Captain and lieutenants were taken directly from the military. Words like code, honor, commitment, and integrity are as important to the fire service as they are to the military.
    Men and women with military backgrounds are usually very mature, regardless of their age. They understand the need to get along with others, especially with people who come from different backgrounds from them. They understand commitment and the need to work until the job is completed. They are used to working for long periods of time in less than ideal conditions.
    Physical fitness is emphasized in the military. As a result military men and women are usually in very good shape. This is extremely important to the fire service, because the number one reason entry-level candidates fail out of the academy is due to poor physical fitness. In addition, a physically fit firefighter will miss less time due to injury than a firefighter who is not fit. Military personnel have been taught the importance of a life-long physical fitness program and the importance of proper diet. These good habits will be shared with the firefighters in the station.
    Military people demonstrate respect for authority and understand the chain of command. The fire service operates on the same hierarchy principle as the military. The group clearly understands code and honor. These qualities are extremely important in the fire service, because firefighters are held to a higher standard than the average person in the community.
    Military men and women are used to working in a structured environment. They understand the importance of doing something right the first time. Similar to the fire department, peopleís lives are impacted if things are not kept in a constant state of operational readiness. Firefighters must check out their equipment each and every day. They must know the intricacies of each tool kept on the engine or truck. Training and continuing education are essential to the fire service. It is imperative that firefighters are able to work unsupervised; completion of a job or task is a reflection of them.
    Getting along in the fire station is critically important to being successful in the fire service. Courtesy to fellow firefighters is critical. Cleaning up after one self is expected. This is one of the first things military men and women learn in Basic Training.
    One of the strengths found in military men and women, however, is also commonly a cause of strife during their probationary year. People who have earned rank in the military are used to giving orders. As a rookie firefighter you are expected to take orders, not give them. Humility is an extremely important quality to possess as a rookie firefighter. Oftentimes rookie firefighters who have spent time in the military are older than the average candidate.
    It is not uncommon for an older probationary firefighter to be working under the tutelage of a much younger senior firefighter, engineer, or even lieutenant or captain. If the rookie firefighter does not have the proper mind set, he or she will be in for a difficult probationary year.
    If you are still in the military and are interested in a career in the fire service, it is important that you start making provisions NOW. Start taking online classes NOW.
    If possible, put yourself in a position to get fire service-related training such as Medic or Corpsman. Hazardous Materials and firefighter training will also be beneficial. Lastly, work on general education courses so you can earn your Associates degree.
    Do not be intimidated by all of the candidates who have every certification under the sun. They were able to obtain these as full-time students while you were busy fulfilling your continuous to the American people.
    A candidate who is an EMT, possesses related experience as a reserve or volunteer firefighter, and is active taking fire science courses is usually at the top of his or her game. Get your qualifications, learn how to take a fire department interview, and earn your badge.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    puntorotary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    N.C
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Thats some real good info.Good job on that write up!

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    138

    Default

    Well said!!

  4. #4
    Truckie
    SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    That was well put together. Those looking to get a fire job, take advantage of all you earned. Use you GI bill or VEAP, what-ever it's called today and go to school. In Minnesota, Lake Superior College has a fire service program. You can get FF1, FF2, haz-mat, an AA in fire science and an EMT-P ticket. A good start for those cities that are not big enough or have enough money for a full recruit class. Couple that with military experience, I can guarantee you will be heads and shoulders above the career student. Like the Chief said, all the certificates in the world aren't worth the paper they are written on if you don't have experience and the maturity to go with them.
    One of the strengths found in military men and women, however, is also commonly a cause of strife during their probationary year. People who have earned rank in the military are used to giving orders. As a rookie firefighter you are expected to take orders, not give them. Humility is an extremely important quality to possess as a rookie firefighter.
    How true, every experience or job has an Achilles heel. This may be ours. If you do an honest assessment of your skills and faults and this might be a concern, try this. Get into a trade apprenticeship program. I don't care what rank you where, you show up on a job as a first year apprentice, that 30 year Journeyman is NOT going to take any crap. They have seen a hundred of you come and go.
    Good Luck.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  5. #5
    Temporarily Inactive

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Franklin county
    Posts
    114

    Default

    I agree, I was a firefighter in the Air force from 89-93. When i got out my military service helped me BIG time getting a career city firefighting job. Even if one is NOT a firefighter in the military your dd214 is like GOLD for police and fire jobs. Throw in being a medic and you are almost a lock in getting hired IF you pass all the required tests.
    Last edited by profire1; 05-15-2007 at 05:11 PM.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default Thank You

    I just wanted to thank everyone for the words of wisdom. You see I was just honorably discharged from the USN(Fire, Rescue, & Salvage Team) and have been actively seeking a career in the fire/ems service. Since my discharge in Jan. I have obtained my EMT-B (National/state) as well as Fire 1 and 2 through the state of MN. It is just nice to hear some encouraging words from those who have gone before me.

    Thank You Again!!!

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    115

    Default

    How much of an advantage will I have coming out of the service with 6 years in as well as having 6 years in the volunteer fire service and a B.A. in Fire Safety Engineering and Technology.

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    79

    Default

    Well hereís my 2 cents, take it for whatís it worth. Military experience is good just as long as the fellows sitting across from you know what its worth. Even the Army Times goes into detail about how if you canít make your military experience relevant to the civilian job you are looking for you donít have much of a chance because most donít understand.

    Military wise, if youíre in the reserves it wonít help you much, if any thing it will hurt you. And please donít argue the point with me, itís a fact and ive been subjected to it. If you still donít believe me take a look. There is even an article in the Air Force Times.
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search

    DoD jobs, if you donít have your Haz Mat Tech and/or EMT-B your chances of finding a job are few or limited I should say. My first civilian firefighter job was with a contractor and then we all got laid off, on my b-day no less.lol Since then (4 months ago) I have noticed that if you donít have Tech and/or EMT thereís not much to pick from on the DoD side. I sold a few things (some really nice original Star Wars props from ANH and ESB) and ate about a weeks worth of MREís to save up the G so I could get my Tech. Now I have a few more phone calls and I apply for every DoD job from Cal to Maine. Another thing I noticed is donít wait for the base next door. Be willing to move much like I am.

    My point, military experience is great just as long as its past tense and not present tense. But this world is not a cookie cutter experience what dose not work of me may be working for others.

  9. #9
    Temporarily Inactive

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Franklin county
    Posts
    114

    Default

    Columbus, Cleveland and Akron Fire....The last 2 academy classes....68% combined veterans.
    NOTHING will help you more than your DD 214. PERIOD

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    115

    Default

    That's good to hear for me. I'm looking forward to finishing up my time and then getting back into the fire service. I've missed it over the last couple years.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Worldwide
    Posts
    76

    Default

    I just had the end of my enlistment last year with the Air Force as a firefighter and it was amazing. I had the time of my life and as mostly everyone has said that dd 214 is like gold getting on a civilian dept!!! they looked at my certs and my military background when I first applied and pretty much told me I was hired!! if anyone has the chance to do military firefighting do it!! it pays off in the long run and you get to serve your country doing it!! thanks

    Brian

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    115

    Default

    thanks Brian. I am not a firefighter in the Navy as a job but I do have all of my firefighting certs from the Navy as high asI can get them, not to mention my certs from the civilian side before i enlisted

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber
    JohnVBFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Norfolk, Va
    Posts
    1,481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by scfirefighter12 View Post
    thanks Brian. I am not a firefighter in the Navy as a job but I do have all of my firefighting certs from the Navy as high asI can get them, not to mention my certs from the civilian side before i enlisted


    Honestly, the only cert that might carry over is the 4805 CBR NEC for DCman. Other than that, Navy firefighting is an animal all by itself. As evidence by these "superstars" Scary part is, they probably got a huge "You're the best way to go" speech. This is the type of training and acceptance I have to deal with in my own rate :
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Worldwide
    Posts
    76

    Default

    sad to say if you did just get that stuff and didn't go to the DoD Fire Academy in San Angelo only a couple may actually transfer over like DocVBFDE14 said.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    115

    Default

    I didn't excpect my certs from the Navy to cross over. Thanfully, I'll have my prior civillian certs as well as a B. A. in Fire & Safety Engineering Technology when I apply.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Military Firefighting
    By outoffocus in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 07-17-2007, 10:16 AM
  2. Military Gives Police Parkas, Guns, Helicopters
    By MalahatTwo7 in forum News Center
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-06-2007, 01:35 PM
  3. Gov't Job: Fire Mgmt Specialist in Jackson, MI
    By skyraider in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-28-2005, 02:26 PM
  4. Military Rules for the Non-Military Personnel
    By Airborne in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 09-15-2005, 08:04 PM
  5. Any way you look at it, say no to Kerry
    By mohican in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 199
    Last Post: 10-04-2004, 07:52 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register