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    Default Best State for a beginner

    Hello friends,
    This question may sound funny... but I'll ask it anyway. What State in the US has the lowest competition for getting started as a full time firefighter? In Illinois it feels just plain impossible. I'm 30 yrs old, I've got my EMT-B and 2 Bachelors degrees... will travel! I'd love to hear some tips about where I might have a better shot at getting started. Thanks a ton!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaybo77 View Post
    Hello friends,
    This question may sound funny... but I'll ask it anyway. What State in the US has the lowest competition for getting started as a full time firefighter? In Illinois it feels just plain impossible. I'm 30 yrs old, I've got my EMT-B and 2 Bachelors degrees... will travel! I'd love to hear some tips about where I might have a better shot at getting started. Thanks a ton!

    If you think Illinois is impossible what do you think it's like in the rest of the country? And I think I would try to lose the impossible attitude. If all of gave up or didn't try because we thought going after our job as a firefighter was impossible none of us would be here today!

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    Almost all New Hampshire departments hire from the same statewide list. Many vollie departments are starting to hire day staff, specifically to handle EMS. There are not hundreds of applications; if I recall correctly, there were a dozen or so for our last opening.

    That's the good news. Here is the bad news. The deadline for the test just passed at the end of April, so you woul dhave to wait until next year. There isn't a whole lot of competition because the jobs don't pay very well and this is a very expensive place to live. Your degrees won't help as much as they should in the state with the highest percentage of adults with a bachelor's degree. And finally, an EMT-B won't do you much good. NH still uses the EMT-I; that or a medic is going to be necessary before your EMS cert will impress anyone.

    All that said, it is a great place to live.

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    It appears that having your medic is getting to become quite the trend. I do know of numerous department's in Missouri that still only require EMT, but preference is definitely given to medics most of the time.

    You might take a look in the state forums. I know in the Missouri forum there's a lot of discussion about who's hiring, what they require, etc.

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    North Carolina hasn't jumped on the Firefighter/Paramedic bandwagon yet. My EMT-I certification had no bearing on getting a job because most departments in North Carolina only run BLS, unless they have their own ambulance. Which majors do you have degrees in? Firefighting experience? Any emergency service experience?

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    Default In response...

    First, thanks for responding. No, my degrees are not related (human resources and management). I also don't have experience, something that I think will matter in interviewing.

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    I would say anywhere except the State of Confusion....

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    Post Huh?............

    You don't have experience? Here, almost everyone that applies has some, mostly Volunteer. Or, they have family that is already on the job.

    Maryland isn't a bad place to get started, but don't worry about training or degrees. We train people our way, and a H.S. diploma is enough to start. EMT-B is our EMS Training level. We tried the "you MUST be a paramedic" thing and it didn't work out. Pay isn't bad, starting around 40 - 42K/yr. usually a 42 hour work week (24/72 is common). Look forward to a 20 year retirement and good benefits as well.

    Bad news is the amount of people testing here. Our County (most hiring is done by Counties) had over 1,000 people test. These go on a list and then are in line for the Physical, Background Check, and Agility test. Final list is drawn from all of those and you get hired off that.
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    We've hired several guys lately without experience. For some reason our numbers showing up to test have been low. When I tested five years ago there were 12, the highest since then I think was 28. They used to have 50+ each hiring test.

    If you want some info on my department, drop me an email or PM Shwaybo. We're supposed to be having a test sometime soon.

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    One advantage to applying for Firefighter jobs in the D.C., Maryland and Norther Virginia area is the sheer number of departments locally that hire on a regular basis. By applying at several departments you obviously increase your odds of getting on at one of them.

    Try Googling the official FD or HR sites for:
    • District of Columbia Fire/EMS Department
    • Prince Georges County Fire/EMS Department (MD)
    • Montgomery County Fire Rescue Department (MD)
    • Fairfax County Fire Department (VA)
    • Arlington County Fire Department (VA)
    • City of Alexandria Fire/EMS Department (VA)
    • Howard County Fire Rescue Department (MD)
    • Anne Arundel County Fire Department (MD)
    • City of Annapolis Fire Department (MD)
    • Baltimore City Fire Department
    • Baltimore County Fire Department

    ...that should get you started. Good luck.

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    I heard New Orleans is hiring.

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    Kansas City just closed their process, but St. Louis City is open til early June. Missouri is kinda tough because if you have your MO FF1 and FF2 that will qualify you to work anywhere in the state, except St. Louis County (most of St. Louis)...they have their own expensive academy. So, Missouri is not the best state for a beginner...

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    Just go out and apply and take the tests, if you can do the work to get two degrees, you can pass anyone's test. You just have to jump into it and get into the pool. There is no where that you can get hired within days or even weeks, but if you put your hat in the ring, you can get on the job somewhere within a year.
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    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Thanks for the encouragement!

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    Straight from a badged LAFD Firefighter- "We are hiring 250 Firefighters EVERY YEAR for the next 5 years."

    LA County is doing the same. Massive retirements.

    The City of Las Vegas, Nevada and Clark County Fire (LV Metro area) are still booming, building and expanding. Vegas city is giving out the info. right now on their upcoming test. The CCFD just tested, but expects to add about 20 stations over the next 5+ years.

    One of the biggest problems I see with Candidates trying to get hired is the dont want to relocate. I say then- "You dont want it bad enough."

    Find the "target rich environments" and get on their lists.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 05-21-2007 at 05:55 PM.

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    hey bou what department do you work for?
    www.wildlandfire.com
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    You could always work for the contractors that contract out firefighters to IRAQ! I have seen many adds for them hiring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU View Post
    Straight from a badged LAFD Firefighter- "We are hiring 250 Firefighters EVERY YEAR for the next 5 years."

    LA County is doing the same. Massive retirements.

    The City of Las Vegas, Nevada and Clark County Fire (LV Metro area) are still booming, building and expanding. Vegas city is giving out the info. right now on their upcoming test. The CCFD just tested, but expects to add about 20 stations over the next 5+ years.

    One of the biggest problems I see with Candidates trying to get hired is the dont want to relocate. I say then- "You dont want it bad enough."

    Find the "target rich environments" and get on their lists.
    I see the biggest problem is the initial paperwork! I don't know anyone that went to college, lived on campus and knows the address of every dorm room, and their next door neighbors names and address for all four years! Never want to go through that process again, and since 9/11 here you have to go back ten years not just four like the old days.......

    Totally agree with the target rich environment, but will also say anyone with the drive and IQ to get two bachlors degrees can pretty much get on any department that is hiring as long as that department is not forced into a period of "targeted" recruitment. But even those periods only last a class or two, so just get out there and APPLY!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dday05 View Post
    If you think Illinois is impossible what do you think it's like in the rest of the country? And I think I would try to lose the impossible attitude. If all of gave up or didn't try because we thought going after our job as a firefighter was impossible none of us would be here today!

    Unless you fit the "profile" and you are willing to pick only one FD to test for at a time (due to the fact that most cities limit their testing to residents only) FORGET ABOUT NJ! Go anywhere but NJ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rawbff15 View Post
    hey bou what department do you work for?
    He's not gonna tell you. BTW San Mateo? You know Corey Cowger?
    IAFF

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    ^^^ does he work for san mateo city or san mateo county?^^^
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Unless you fit the "profile" and you are willing to pick only one FD to test for at a time (due to the fact that most cities limit their testing to residents only) FORGET ABOUT NJ! Go anywhere but NJ.
    *sigh*

    of course i have to live in New Jersey... i'm still going to go for a paid job in New Jersey when i'm old enough unless we move. i mean, i'd have to move to NY to get a job there. and idk what the rules for residency are for parts of Maryland and PA. if you don't need to live there, i guess i could apply there too....

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    Quote Originally Posted by rawbff15 View Post
    ^^^ does he work for san mateo city or san mateo county?^^^
    city I believe
    IAFF

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    i dont no to many people from the city
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawbff15 View Post
    hey bou what department do you work for?
    I work for the Department of Mental Health

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