I am extremely interested in becoming a contract firefighter and would like a little insight from everyone's perspective. I understand these questions may have been previously asked in one form or another, but I am still left with questions. When I apply for a contract position, I will have the following:
FFI and FFII
Hazardous Materials Ops and Awareness
3+ years firefighting experience
1) I am currently ARFF trained, but that will expire soon, but with a simple 1 day 400 dollar class I can be re-certified, it is worth it and will it inevitably result in a higher paying contract?
2) What is the best contract(s)? I am a 22-year-old college graduate that is willing for adventure and am willing to go thru the hoops and not run my mouth. I want to make as much cash as possible, and am willing to go anywhere. What contract(s) does everyone suggest?
3) While in country do you have the opportunity to move thru the ranks and step into larger contract cash?
4) If after you complete a year of your contract, is there a substantial increase in pay for the second year?
5) Are all of the contract available with fire departments based on a US base?
Once again thank you for your time.
Thanks for your time and stay safe.
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04-18-2007, 06:13 PM #1
Suggestions for Contract Firefighting
Last edited by Aeverman; 04-18-2007 at 06:57 PM. Reason: typo
04-18-2007, 10:08 PM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
- Colorado Springs, CO
I will try to answer your questions as best as I can. I have only worked with CSA, so whatever answers I post here, has come with the experience of working for CSA.
1. Most companies recommend that ff's are to be ARFF certified to get hired, so you will not get any higher pay because you have that cert.
2. To get a straight answer on who has the best contract, you need to talk to someone who has worked for at least 2 different contracting companies and can share their experiences working with those companies. Also someone who can tell you straight up what the good and bad is about each company. Not someone who bashes a company only because that person wasn't happy there (its very unproffessional). What fits for you, may not fit for another and vise versa. If you are only looking for money and are willing to go anywhere, go to Iraq or Afghanistan with KBR or WSI. Simple as that.
3. Because the contracting world is a constant "revolving door", you will have plenty of chances to promote, which will earn you higher pay as you move up.
4. Pay increases only depend on the company itself. If the company decides to do a pay raise, then everyone gets a raise. Just signing up for a second contract won't get you a raise in salary. However, you do get a bonus for completing the first contract.
5. Yes, all the fire stations (that I know about) are on U.S. military installations.
Remember that each company is different and operates differently. That is why I stress that you speak with someone that has experienced more than one company if you want to get a better idea on who has the best contract. What CSA does, is different than what KBR and WSI does, but for the most part they operate similiar.
04-19-2007, 12:37 AM #3
Hey thanks for the info. Yeah I am excited to hear what others have to say, preferably from different companies. Also, I would be interested in seeing what everyone made, money wise, overseas to see what could be expected.
04-21-2007, 12:27 PM #4
Ok, after spending countless hours reading up on all previous posts, I thought Iíd ask a couple of questions that havenít been asked or werenít answered completely. I thank who ever takes the time to respond in advance.
A little about me:
Iím currently in the Air Force, but will be getting out after attaining a couple degrees and serving for an enjoyable 4 years. Iíve also worked in the civilian job for a couple of years in a small combi department (it was a 2 year ďinternshipĒ). Iím ambitious and always ready to learn. Iíd like to think that I have a good head on my shoulders and it has helped me to do well so far. So I guess you could say that I have dabbled in a couple different types of firefighting but contract is uncharted territory.
Anyway, here are a couple of questions:
1) Does anyone have any tips to offer for a contract resume? Iíve revised mine many times, alternating between more of a federal type (which goes on forever about boring details) and the civilian type (which seems to be short and sweet, but doesnít leave room to expand). So far, I just canít seem to get mine right. How important is this?
2) How important is knowing somebody for getting the job? Iíve been networking a bit and I hope it will help.
3) What does the future of contract firefighting look like? If a Ďpull outí (or what ever else you want to call it) of Iraq happens, could this mean a flooded job-seeker market for contract firefighting? If so, could this lower potential pay for perspective, as well as, current contract firefighters?
I know there are no strait forward, easy answers to these questions any thoughtful thoughts are welcome and appreciated.
Last edited by sabongwon; 04-21-2007 at 12:30 PM.
05-10-2007, 06:58 AM #5
- Join Date
- May 2007
Resume; Post your certs in bullet form on the first page. In contracting they need people otherwise the company doesn't get paid. People that review will review quickly to see the certs. They have no interest in any other abilities.
Knowing somebody; is important to fill vacancies in projects that are already working, because there might be 50 applicants for one position. When a project first starts they just need numbers so the only thing that matters is that your resume gets on the desk. Knowing someone at this point only helps you with the timing aspect.
Contracting Future: Its here to stay the only change which you see happening now is the transition of companies using third country nationals to fill positions. This is done because you can hire 3 for the price of one US person. I will say in five years the only jobs left will be for management type people.
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