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  1. #1
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    Post Air Force FF Layout

    Hey everyone, i am twenty years old and thinking of enlisting in the Air Force for the firefighter position. For all you firefighters out there that have done this, im wondering if you guys can give me a layout of what the four years entails. I know the training is done at Lackland AFB, but im wanting to know more about the certifications you recieve, what happens after you get these certifications, the different aspects of the job, the upsides and downsides to the job, overall opinion of an Air Force FF and so on. My ultimate goal is be a civilian firefighter in the long run. Thanks in advance for the advice.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by wffire520 View Post
    Hey everyone, i am twenty years old and thinking of enlisting in the Air Force for the firefighter position. For all you firefighters out there that have done this, im wondering if you guys can give me a layout of what the four years entails. I know the training is done at Lackland AFB, but im wanting to know more about the certifications you recieve, what happens after you get these certifications, the different aspects of the job, the upsides and downsides to the job, overall opinion of an Air Force FF and so on. My ultimate goal is be a civilian firefighter in the long run. Thanks in advance for the advice.

    Lets see, 1st of all, Basic Training is at Lackland AFB in TX. Once you complete that you will get a great bus ride to wonderful Goodfellow AFB which is in San Angelo TX. The Fire School was 13 1/2 weeks long when I went through it back in 03', not sure if its longer or shorter now. When you arrive at Goodfellow you have to wait to be put in a class, then the 13 plus weeks start, I knew some guys who had to wait 3 or more weeks before getting a class. You will have to pass a pre class thing called firefighter PT, a new thing, so maybe someone will have some more insight on that. If you dont pass that, then you are class start is delayed.

    Like I said a lot has changed since I went through the school in 03' after you complete school you wil come out with Firefighter 1 and 2, Firefighter ARFF Haz Mat Ops and Awareness, and 1st Responder. I know they are trying to have all the people Haz Mat techs, so they might be doing that in the school now, but im not sure.

    4 years, you would be a driver operator or a crew chief depending on if you make staff or not. during a 4 year enlistment you should have all the certs done up to your 1's (officer,inspector,instructor) unless your a slackass, or your training guy is uptight.

    I enjoy the job, but there are some downsides.

    The Bad: we get people in this job that didnt want the job in the 1st place, and they are a waste of space, BUT!! some of them end up likeing it and turn out ok. We do a lot of GOOOD training, but lack of applying this training to actually emergencies sucks, because we dont run a lot of "real" calls. We are in the military and people with more rank have the mentality that they know more and should be in charge, which SUCKS sometimes, but that is the way it is. etc...

    The Good: training ops., deployments(they are fun), taking advantage of all the education you can recieve etc....

  3. #3
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks xxxshiftxxx for all the helpful insight. I know its hard determining wether or not the upside is greater than the downside in my case in trying to get a on a city department in the long run. I mean four years is a pretty big chunk of time and i know you cant possibly see all that much action while stationed at a base, i would think only once in a blue moon really. Where were some of the locations that you were deployed to, how long, and once arrived can you layout what your duties were? Thanks again.

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    Im currently at the academy........same length as when u went thourgh....same certs....FF PT is not a pre class thing, u'll take ur first assment once u start school then again in third block, what i consist of is.....first a 50ft carry of rolled up 2", then a 50 ft roof ladder carry, a 100ft charged 1 3/4" hose pull, climb 10 rung ladder up and down three times, a 100ft sled pull(which has rolled up 5" on it),hit a 200lbs tire 12" with a sledge hammer, a 100ft 145lbs dummy carry, up and down the ladder 2 more times, another 50ft ladder carry and a 100ft spreader carry.....its to be completed in 8 mins to graduate and you'll will be the tiredest you have ever been in your whole life afterwards

  5. #5
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    Hey guys,

    I am like wffire520 and am thinking of joining the AF to be a Firefighter as well. You guys have offered some great insight. I had a few other questions however, for anyone who knows this...

    What happens after Basic Training and the 13 1/2 weeks of training? Is it a four year commitment? I am a college senior, graduating in May, and never really considered the military until now, so forgive me if I am asking dumb questions.

    My ultimate goal is to become a city FF as well. Is there anything I can do to use my college degree to my advantage if I decide to join? becuase most people who I see asking questions seem to be ages 17-18.

    Thanks a lot guys!
    Last edited by Kev9494; 12-13-2007 at 02:19 PM.

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    Worldwide Menace DFurtman's Avatar
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    Alot of good information here.. but let me add a few things..

    Minimum enlistment for Air Force Fire Protection (3E7X1) is 6 years.

    College will help, but only in getting you up to the paygrade E-3. i have put out a lot of information on this forum.. poke around.. there is a lot of good information in here.

    -Damien

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    Cool

    Check out www.dodfire.com

  8. #8

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    That's funny, I just signed up for fire protection and I only signed for 4 years??

  9. #9

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    i think there some bad information on here.. i have never heard of .. nor have i heard of anything coming down the pipe requiring new recruits to sign up for 6 years.. you can do your same 4 year enlistment or the 6 and get your sucker stripes.. but i'd suggest the 4, give it a shot and decide to punch out or not... hopfully by that time AFPC will get it's head out it's arse and give us an SRB and you could re-up and get some cash..
    you should be able to get your 1's in that amount of time.. if you training guy gives you crap just tell him/her that they shouldn't hold up a good troop (as a training officer myself.. .that line always works)
    the air force is by far the branch that pushes certs the most.. so if that's the reason you are joining.. go AF for sure.. in your 4 years you absolutly have to get your NREMT.. that's really the only cert most major fire departments care about.. so you /Must/ get that.. if you have any questions ask away.. i will help as much as i can.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFurtman View Post
    Alot of good information here.. but let me add a few things..

    Minimum enlistment for Air Force Fire Protection (3E7X1) is 6 years.

    College will help, but only in getting you up to the paygrade E-3. i have put out a lot of information on this forum.. poke around.. there is a lot of good information in here.

    -Damien
    The minimum enlistment is incorrect...at least as of January of this year, you could enlist under the National Call to service act for 2 years. Your 2 years just does not start until you graduate the Fire Academy. The normal enlistment is 4 years, and there was no 6 year enlistments for Fire Protection...unless this changed in the past few months.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wffire520 View Post
    Thanks xxxshiftxxx for all the helpful insight. I know its hard determining wether or not the upside is greater than the downside in my case in trying to get a on a city department in the long run. I mean four years is a pretty big chunk of time and i know you cant possibly see all that much action while stationed at a base, i would think only once in a blue moon really. Where were some of the locations that you were deployed to, how long, and once arrived can you layout what your duties were? Thanks again.
    Hey in under 3 years as a AF FF I have been to 5 planes crashes ranging from small prop jobs to large frame cargo planes, been to numerous house fires on and off base and have been to a few tech rescues. It all depends on how busy your base is and if you run off base for anything.

  12. #12
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    Well lets begin by first telling you after basic you go to Goodfellow AFB Texas for the three month Fire Academy. After you complete the Fire Academy you will get your first USAF assignment.You will spend your four years training almost the entire time especially if you are planning on doing 4-6 years to then become a civilian. I would reccomend you do atleast 6 years so you will be able to get the most training out of the USAF that will be beneficial to you and your future endeavors. I have lots of info contact me on anything else you need.

    Quote Originally Posted by wffire520 View Post
    Hey everyone, i am twenty years old and thinking of enlisting in the Air Force for the firefighter position. For all you firefighters out there that have done this, im wondering if you guys can give me a layout of what the four years entails. I know the training is done at Lackland AFB, but im wanting to know more about the certifications you recieve, what happens after you get these certifications, the different aspects of the job, the upsides and downsides to the job, overall opinion of an Air Force FF and so on. My ultimate goal is be a civilian firefighter in the long run. Thanks in advance for the advice.

  13. #13

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    Default Goodfellow AFB

    Quick question, when at Goodfellow are the classes mixed? As in do Marines and Airmen go thru the same training? As well as come out with the same Certs? Thanks

  14. #14
    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaca2121 View Post
    Quick question, when at Goodfellow are the classes mixed? As in do Marines and Airmen go thru the same training? As well as come out with the same Certs? Thanks

    All services train together and come out the school with the same certs.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

  15. #15

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    Default Hey Airmen47

    Quote Originally Posted by Airman47 View Post
    Im currently at the academy........same length as when u went thourgh....same certs....FF PT is not a pre class thing, u'll take ur first assment once u start school then again in third block, what i consist of is.....first a 50ft carry of rolled up 2", then a 50 ft roof ladder carry, a 100ft charged 1 3/4" hose pull, climb 10 rung ladder up and down three times, a 100ft sled pull(which has rolled up 5" on it),hit a 200lbs tire 12" with a sledge hammer, a 100ft 145lbs dummy carry, up and down the ladder 2 more times, another 50ft ladder carry and a 100ft spreader carry.....its to be completed in 8 mins to graduate and you'll will be the tiredest you have ever been in your whole life afterwards
    When did you graduate? I will going soon myself !! Any insights on what to look for and what to prep for? Thaank you!

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    I believe Furtman was referring tho the Air National Guard, their first term enlistment is 6 years.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpride114 View Post
    When did you graduate? I will going soon myself !! Any insights on what to look for and what to prep for? Thaank you!

    Hey irishpride, when are you going to goodfellow? I'm on AD AF right now, going to the ANG soon. I'm also gonig to the Fire academy, but i wont know my tech school date until i sign in with them in a few weeks.

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    So I've been doing a bunch of research on this today and I had a few questions... but first a little of what I am looking for. I too want to be a municipal FF within the next 5 years, however, I would like to take advantage of the Associates to Bachelors Co-Op program (ABC) so I can obtain a degree while serving my agreed time.

    1) Can I do the Air Force Reserves and still go through Goodfellow or do I have to be enlisted?

    2) Does the ABC program only apply to enlisted, or can I be a reserve and take advantage of this as well?

  19. #19

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    Yes you can go to the academy in the reserves. I think half of my class was reserve actually. As for the ABC program, sorry I know nothing about that.

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