1. #1

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    Default Military firefighting

    Hey Guys. I am trying to get into a fire department as a career firefighter, but after looking around on these forums, it looks like getting a career job would be like winning the lottery. I just finished up firefighter 1 &2 and am currently in MFR school. I have also been on my vollie dept for 2 years now. I have applied to a couple of departments around here where I live and hope to get in. If these don't work out, I was thinking of checking out the Air Force for firefighting. I was in the Army Reserve for 8 years as a medic, so I would have to see if they were accepting prior service. Anyway, for those of you that were in the AF as firefighters, how was it? DO you have families? How is family life on post? I am 32 years old and have a wife with 2 boys and another on the way. May wife is apprehensive about me persuing this, but she also realizes that I want to be a full time firefighter. Any info you guys could give me would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I served in the AF Fire protection field for 20 years and retired. For the most part It was not a bad job, but their are many differences. You work 24 on 24 off rather than 24 on 24 off in the civilain community. Also since you have a family you need to plan on going on a temporary duty assignment to any base in the desert that has Air force planes. I went over there every 2-2 1/2 years. You also can move different bases on the average of 4-7 years. Mostly you can expecto to on a remote base at least once in a career and that is a year away from the family, but I have seen some people avoid that. I did mine in King Salmon Alaska which is closed but it did not help my marriage and I missed my daughter alot. You do get alot of good training and you can learn alot. You also got to ask a question if you get stationed overseas(England, Germany, etc.) How will your family adapt. AF fire overseas really becomes a family and do alot of activities together and there will be alot of families there to help out. One of the upsides is that I now have a job at KSC/CCAFS fire rescue and also get to collect a retirment chekc on top of that. I will say this, if you got your firefighter/EMT it is hard to get a job, you have to be one of the best recruits, but if you become a firefighter paramedic your chances have doubled in getting a firefighter job. If you have any more questions I will be more than willing to answer.

  3. #3
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    If you were prior USAR, why not try a USAR firefighting unit? It's not as "civilianized" as an Air Force department, but I had SUCH a good time for 23 years, I'm saying screw retirement and am going back!

  4. #4
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    Well if youíre trying to go active duty Army for firefighting your SOL depending on what rank they will let you come back in as. I can tell you that the Army wonít let you become a firefighter if youíre E-6 or above, or at least thatís what I learned this past week. If youíre E-4 and below, well they are reclassing all the E-4ís and bellow to plumber and carpenters. Now if you want to go to a reserve unit the same thing applies for the E-6 but they will accept E-5 and below.

  5. #5
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    I will be going back into my former Engineer Firefighter Det as an E-6.

  6. #6

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    Default No Way!

    The last thing I want to do is go back to the Army for firefighting. Counting ammo doesn't really sound like an idea of a good time to me! That's why I want to attempt to get into the AF. I hear the Army is phasing out its firefighters due to the fact that they are using civilians. From what I hear, the AF is the only way to go if I want to be a FF in the military.

  7. #7
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    Well, first of all, DON'T go into an ordinance unit as a 21M. Go into a firefighting unit. The only ammo you'll count is when you're done at your weapons qual.

    The Army is phasing out active duty firefighters (according to the latest recruiter drama). Army Reserve is upgrading. Do you really think they's spend $37 million for a new fire truck if they were phasing out 21Ms?? If your not MOSQ for a 21M, you'll go to Goodfellow where they train all the DOD firefighters. Probably less of a hassle if you went back USAR. I tried the ANG and Air Force Reserve route, and they advised no prior service are being allowed in (this was for Kansas, your area may be different).

    I will say that the Air Force had nicer equipment, and better living, but I'm still somewhat of a ground pounder at heart (my first 6 years) and I also liked the ability to respond off base (in a combat zone) which the Air Force guys were forbidden to do at the time we were there.

    Anyow, good luck in whatever you decide.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiredoldman View Post
    I will be going back into my former Engineer Firefighter Det as an E-6.
    If your MOSQ then your good, but if your not I donít know how your pulling it off. Had my First Sergeant sent up an e-mail this past Friday asking if an E-6 can do the Academy, they said E-5 and below only. Take it for what its worth.

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    Oh...yes, I am MOSQ - that 23 years was 15 as a 51M (21M now). Frankly, I'm GLAD they won't let anyone above E-5 in the school. I've already seen too many E-6's from other MOS's go through basic fire training and think they're now qualified to run the FDNY because they're an E-6 and will be "fire chiefs". !!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!? This was a very common when there was a 51M school at a local Army post I worked on.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiredoldman View Post
    Frankly, I'm GLAD they won't let anyone above E-5 in the school. I've already seen too many E-6's from other MOS's go through basic fire training and think they're now qualified to run the FDNY because they're an E-6 and will be "fire chiefs". !!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    You and I both, we get an E-5 in every now and then that wants to hurry up and get their E-6 so they can run the show. Only problem is they dont have a clue whats going on.

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