When I finish my B.S., I am moving back to Arizona to be closer to family, and plan on applying to the fire departments. My wife will graduate a year after me, so I have one year to prepare for joining a department (either in Phoenix or Tucson...)

Since I don't really know much about how it works, can somebody answer a few questions for me:

1) If I get basic FF and EMT certifications in Texas in the year my wife is finishing school, will that be of any value to me when I get to AZ? What about a fire science degree from the local CC. Is that even useful if I already have a B.S. (public administration)? Would any of this even be a good resume builder at the very least?

2) Would my time in the year after I graduate be used best finding a job or getting certifications/FS degree and just working part-time?

3) Does anybody know anything about the phoenix area or tucson departments that they would be willing to share?

Thanks in advance for any help...I'm really excited about this. Any advice you have is greatly appreciated.