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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber KevinFFVFD's Avatar
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    Default Would relly appreciate some advice...

    hey everyone. i was hopping to talk to someone either from the Jackson Fire Department (in Mississippi) or the Birmingham Fire Department. Also anyone who is a career firefighter around the Birmingham area.

    i am a volunteer firefighter and i am going to EMT school. i want to be on a big department. i live in vicksburg (which is why i am interested in jackson) but my girlfriend goes to UAB in Birmingham and I might move to that area once we both finish school. it all depends on what we want at that time, but its going to be either area. just want to talk to firefighters from these department to get an idea of what to look for, what training i need, and what i need to do between now and then to get ready for those department.

    thanks everyone. stay safe.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm about 90 miles south of Birmingham so keep that in mind....

    If it were me, I would really look in the suburbs. Birmingham is surrounded by some of the most affluent communities in the State of Alabama and pay significantly higher than Birmingham. According to the Alabama League of Municipalities, in 2005 the starting salary in Birmingham was anywhere from 10 to 15 thousand a year less than Hoover, Pelham, etc.

    As far as training, Alabama has pretty stringent requirements for career firefighters so you will probably have to go through the academy. If you think you're going to wind up over here, then by all means keep your national registry current. If you're got that, then getting your Alabama EMT license is as simple as filling out the application and paying your fee. Also, once you get here join a VFD and get your certified volunteer firefighter certification (called the 160 because it is 160 hours long). The state has a four week 'bridge' course for 160 certified volunteers that get hired by career departments. The bigger departments will probably still make you go through their academy but I suspect that many smaller ones will start hiring 160 guys because it greatly reduces training costs.

    Finally, make sure you're in good physical condition. Before you can attend anybody's career academy or the bridge course you must pass CPAT.
    Last edited by EFD840; 05-16-2007 at 03:01 PM.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber KevinFFVFD's Avatar
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    Default

    yeah, i was looking at hoover, center point, tuscoulousa, bessemer, vestavia hills, and mountain brooke. i would prefer the larger department, but i do not mind at all working for a smaller department. just need some advice because i dont really know anything at all about the departments there.

  4. #4
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    Kevin,

    Lucky you!!! Just kidding. I am a Birmingham firefighter and would be more than happy to give you all the info you need.

    First things first. The majority of the fire departments in Jefferson County are under the Personnel Board of Jefferson County. In order to be considered for a job with one of those departments you have to take the personnel board test and pass it and then you get place on the list of candidates. There are several metro area depts that are not under the board, Center Point, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Calera, etc. Do a Google Search for "Personnel Board of Jefferson County Alabama" and you can find their site, that will help some.

    Email me: ecvfd933@bellsouth.net

    EFD hit most of the major points, the biggest thing around here is getting your Paramedic if that is what you want to do. Most smaller depts only hire firefighter/medics. Email me and I will get back with you.

    Dan

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