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  1. #1
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    Default Just wondering if anyone can help...

    Hello everyone,

    I stumbled upon this awesome website as I started my research. I have a few questions for now but I'm sure I will have more later. I will try and keep it short.

    I have been wanting to become a firefighter in Orlando, either OFD or OCFD but I'm not sure where to begin. First off, I am currently on Temporary Duty with the Air Force as a Medic. I have been a medic for about a year now. I came in to get my educational benefits and most importantly, my EMT cert and experience. Definitely lots of experience especially in nursing and the ER and ambulance runs. I am a reservist but have been given the training and experience to match that of my active duty counterparts. Anyway, I am a NREMT cert.

    Do I need my Fl cert and take the test?

    Will I need to go to the fire academy first before applying?

    Does being military hurt at all since I have to leave 1 weekend a month?

    Are there any paid training positions?

    Is OFD better than OCFD to work for?

    I know this is a lot of questions but I am excited to get on the path and am willing to do whatever i need to get there.

    Thanks for all your help, the site has been great thus far.
    Last edited by firepr00f; 11-23-2009 at 09:59 PM. Reason: Personal


  2. #2
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    Gerald, both departments have a non-certified program so you do not need to go to the fire academy for those programs. However both are competitive to get in to. Check in to the City and County web sites for more information.

    Both hire certified firefighters so the academy is a good way to go, this will also open the door to other fire departments. BCC has a Fire Standards Program.

    Most governments understand military commitments and will work with you.

    You might want to check with Brevard County Fire, they have in the past hired medics and sent them through fire standards that might save you a step or two.

    Both are solid departments as far as who is the better department, I am very partial I work for Orlando, OFD!

    Good luck
    Rob

  3. #3
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    Rob,

    Thanks for the response. It is very helpful. I am definitely looking into it. My goal from even before entering the military was to become a firefighter while I am a reservist. Hence, the reason for joining to get my NREMT-B and lots of experience. My main concern is benefits, positions open, certs required before hire, and actual engine time as opposed to just being on the transports. I am about to turn 30 and need to decide on my path to getting there before I am done with my current active duty orders in April 08 because I do have a family to take care of. The military has been great in helping me do just that.

    Is salary completely different for the two departments? How long is the hiring process from application to start date? Do you get paid more if you go get your standards first then apply or do the non-cert program. How does scheduling work for the departments? 24/48 throughout the whole month?

    Thanks again for all the help.

    Firepr00f
    Last edited by firepr00f; 11-23-2009 at 09:59 PM.

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    Rob,

    Thank you for your informative reply. I did have a couple of other questions but I guess my reply disappeared or hasn't been approved yet. I will post those other questions later today, I work 12 hour shifts at overnight in the ER so I'm tired at the moment but I'm sure you fellas can easily handle that compared to the 24 hr. shifts. One quick question: Who pays better?

    Firepr00f
    Last edited by firepr00f; 11-23-2009 at 09:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gafavis View Post
    Rob,

    Thank you for your informative reply. I did have a couple of other questions but I guess my reply disappeared or hasn't been approved yet. I will post those other questions later today, I work 12 hour shifts at overnight in the ER so I'm tired at the moment but I'm sure you fellas can easily handle that compared to the 24 hr. shifts. One quick question: Who pays better?

    Gerald
    i work for orange county. orlando has better pay w/ a better contract. orlando has kelly days, we don't. orlando has a strong union, we don't. we have not had a contract/raise in over 2 years. orlando pays into their retirement(i think 6 %) we are in frs (we dont pay) the winner ORLANDO!!!!!!
    our county commissioners **** on us. if given the choice go with orlando, they are a fine fire department.

  6. #6
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    Gerald, I think Gigafire, covered the bases pretty well, although he did forget to mention we are an ISO Class 1 Department.

    If you want some spicifics send me a private message.

    Rob

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    Gigafire,

    thanks for the info. Very helpful. I am very impressed with OFD. I'm sure though that I would be proud to serve with either OCFD or OFD but with hopes to get in with OFD. Gigafire and Rob, is there a non-certified program in OFD just like OCFD has? Or do I have to have my minimum standards before I can even think about applying with OFD? Thanks again for all your help.

    Firepr00f
    Last edited by firepr00f; 11-23-2009 at 10:00 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gafavis View Post
    Gigafire,

    thanks for the info. Very helpful. I am very impressed with OFD. I'm sure though that I would be proud to serve with either OCFD or OFD but with hopes to get in with OFD. Gigafire and Rob, is there a non-certified program in OFD just like OCFD has? Or do I have to have my minimum standards before I can even think about applying with OFD? Thanks again for all your help.

    Gerald
    You must have your minimum standards/EMT to apply w/ Orlando. Congrats to Orlando on the ISO rating, keep up the good work.

    P.S.- OCFD has an in-house Paramedic program. You do all of your training while on shift and get paid during your hospital clinicals. Alot of people take advantage of that and then go work for a Fire Department that pays a LIVABLE WAGE. With that said, our Paramedic program puts out terrible Medics, but you WILL get your patch. Orange County has ruined its FD and we have become a training stepping stone for firefighters who want to make more than $11.00 per hour. Good luck to you Davis.

  9. #9
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    Orlando does have a non-cert program BUT it is usually kept VERY QUIET until after the deadline. We found out about the last one the morning of the application deadline. Going to standards and having your EMT prior to coming to Orlando is the easiest way, not that OFD's process is easy but the non-cert program is competitive.

    Good Luck

    Rob

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    getting on with OFD without experience? good luck......

    Sorry if that sounds harsh, but the reality is, i know very few people, if any off the top of my head, that have been hired by the Big O without experience...To those of you that get on without experience, you are some of the luckiest people in the fire service in my opinion....I heard through the grapevine on this last hiring, there were like 3-5 people maybe that didn't have experience....

    I've seen a couple of those guys who were lucky enough to get in on the non certified program doing clinicals for EMT school up at florida hospital south (orlando). They act like its no big deal that they got on that way...i wanna slap them in the face haha... They just do not realize how competitive it is and how incredibly lucky they are to be set for life with one of the most sought after departments in the south in my opinion. call it jealousy, but i have a hard time with that....oh well, I'm determined, I'll get on one day...

  11. #11
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    EDIT: Just making sure the original poster understands what I mean. Experience meaning, having worked for another department before for some time, not as in going to standards in EMT school....

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    Thanks again for all the replies, I want to make sure you guys know that I do not think this will be an easy task to get signed on to either departments. I am looking for a path to take so I don't look like an *** when I apply. I also not only want to get on with a good FD but I also want to be with one that I hopefully will stay with for a long while. I did not mean for anyone to think that I'm saying I will apply and get on because I know I am far down the list once I do get on a list. I do appreciate all the replies and have decided to go to the academy and get my standards since I am an EMT already, then apply with OFD. I will however put in an interest card from the beginning. Wouldn't hurt I'm sure. Where is it best to get my standards in Orlando? I live on the east side and I work at Patrick AFB in Melbourne. Thanks again for all the suggestions and replies.

  13. #13
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gafavis View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I stumbled upon this awesome website as I started my research. I have a few questions for now but I'm sure I will have more later. I will try and keep it short.

    I have been wanting to become a firefighter in Orlando, either OFD or OCFD but I'm not sure where to begin. First off, I am currently on Temporary Duty with the Air Force as a Medic. I have been a medic for about a year now. I came in to get my educational benefits and most importantly, my EMT cert and experience. Definitely lots of experience especially in nursing and the ER and ambulance runs. I am a reservist but have been given the training and experience to match that of my active duty counterparts. Anyway, I am a NREMT cert.

    Do I need my Fl cert and take the test? FireI/II are pretty much the norm. BCC and FMTI offer the courses. Although FMTI is more expensive, I prefer their instructors, and their academy

    Will I need to go to the fire academy first before applying? See above

    Does being military hurt at all since I have to leave 1 weekend a month? NO! You can NOT be discrminated against for you military position.

    Are there any paid training positions?As in they pay you to go through the academy? Rare.

    Is OFD better than OCFD to work for?OFD. They are a Northeastern Dept trapped in Central Fla.

    I know this is a lot of questions but I am excited to get on the path and am willing to do whatever i need to get there.

    Thanks for all your help, the site has been great thus far.

    Gerald A. Favis, Amn
    920th Rescue Wing
    Patrick AFB, FL
    Gerald, take a ride down the road to Indian Harbour Beach, 1116 Pinetree Dr. Thursday nights are best since thats when we train. We will train you to FF I. You are on your own for FFII. PM me or email me if you are interested.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT-RFB-KTF
    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gafavis View Post
    Thanks again for all the replies, I want to make sure you guys know that I do not think this will be an easy task to get signed on to either departments. I am looking for a path to take so I don't look like an *** when I apply. I also not only want to get on with a good FD but I also want to be with one that I hopefully will stay with for a long while. I did not mean for anyone to think that I'm saying I will apply and get on because I know I am far down the list once I do get on a list. I do appreciate all the replies and have decided to go to the academy and get my standards since I am an EMT already, then apply with OFD. I will however put in an interest card from the beginning. Wouldn't hurt I'm sure. Where is it best to get my standards in Orlando? I live on the east side and I work at Patrick AFB in Melbourne. Thanks again for all the suggestions and replies.
    If you live in Brevard County try BCC, they have a good standards program. If you are on the East side of Orlando depending on where you want to go try either Seminole Community College or Central Florida Fire Academy.

    The web sites are

    http://www.brevard.cc.fl.us/

    http://www.scc-fl.edu/fire/firefighter.html

    http://fireacademy.org/

    The advantage to the College programs is you get college credit, if you are looking to further your education down the road this might help.

    Good luck
    Rob

  15. #15
    Forum Member Dell205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigafire View Post
    You must have your minimum standards/EMT to apply w/ Orlando. Congrats to Orlando on the ISO rating, keep up the good work.

    P.S.- OCFD has an in-house Paramedic program. You do all of your training while on shift and get paid during your hospital clinicals. Alot of people take advantage of that and then go work for a Fire Department that pays a LIVABLE WAGE. With that said, our Paramedic program puts out terrible Medics, but you WILL get your patch. Orange County has ruined its FD and we have become a training stepping stone for firefighters who want to make more than $11.00 per hour. Good luck to you Davis.
    Hi gigafire
    We've exchanged a few emails on another thread on this website last summer with regard to OCFRD. I am scheduled to take the written test this monday, december 3rd. I am excited but I am also concerned about one of my certs. Technically, I am "certified". I have my FL min. standards and I just passed my NREMT exam two weeks ago I and just received my NREMT cert in the mail. I am still waiting for my FL. EMT license. Will I be able to talk them into letting me test while I waiting for my FL. EMT license? I recalled your situation was different...you orginally went in as "non-cert" candidate and ended up in the "certified" hire group after providing them your NREMT score.

    I hope you can reply very soon before my test on Monday. Thanks. :-)

  16. #16
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dell205 View Post
    Hi gigafire
    We've exchanged a few emails on another thread on this website last summer with regard to OCFRD. I am scheduled to take the written test this monday, december 3rd. I am excited but I am also concerned about one of my certs. Technically, I am "certified". I have my FL min. standards and I just passed my NREMT exam two weeks ago I and just received my NREMT cert in the mail. I am still waiting for my FL. EMT license. Will I be able to talk them into letting me test while I waiting for my FL. EMT license? I recalled your situation was different...you orginally went in as "non-cert" candidate and ended up in the "certified" hire group after providing them your NREMT score.

    I hope you can reply very soon before my test on Monday. Thanks. :-)
    Yo dude. Check it. http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/irm00praes/praslist.asp
    Memorize your EMT #, and let them know it. It takes 2-3 weeks to get your Fla EMT card.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT-RFB-KTF
    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLSboy View Post
    Yo dude. Check it. http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/irm00praes/praslist.asp
    Memorize your EMT #, and let them know it. It takes 2-3 weeks to get your Fla EMT card.
    BLSboy,
    Thanks for providing me the link. I checked it out and nothing yet. Yeah, I was told it takes the state 2 to 3 weeks. As of today, it has been only two weeks, I guess I have one more week to go.

    I just hope OCFRD will understand my situation and still let me take their written exam on monday.

  18. #18
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dell205 View Post
    BLSboy,
    Thanks for providing me the link. I checked it out and nothing yet. Yeah, I was told it takes the state 2 to 3 weeks. As of today, it has been only two weeks, I guess I have one more week to go.

    I just hope OCFRD will understand my situation and still let me take their written exam on monday.
    Are you sure you took it for Florida then? I just took mine less then a month ago, I am a NJ EMT, and took it for reciprocity. I passed it, got the notification form NREMT, but I didn't get NREMT credit, just Fla. If that makes an sense.

    Its early, and I had a late night. lol
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT-RFB-KTF
    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dell205 View Post
    Hi gigafire
    We've exchanged a few emails on another thread on this website last summer with regard to OCFRD. I am scheduled to take the written test this monday, december 3rd. I am excited but I am also concerned about one of my certs. Technically, I am "certified". I have my FL min. standards and I just passed my NREMT exam two weeks ago I and just received my NREMT cert in the mail. I am still waiting for my FL. EMT license. Will I be able to talk them into letting me test while I waiting for my FL. EMT license? I recalled your situation was different...you orginally went in as "non-cert" candidate and ended up in the "certified" hire group after providing them your NREMT score.

    I hope you can reply very soon before my test on Monday. Thanks. :-)
    Hey Dell-
    Yea, besides what BLSBoy told you, I would call OCFRD and explain your situation. I am sure that they will work with you. Also, I know that I have been critical of Orange County but understand that it is the Administration that we have a beef with. They fight us every step of the way. We have an excellent FD with alot of good people. We need to work on our contract. Good luck bro and don't hesitate to seek me out for advice. I will do my best to steer you in the right direction. If i don't have an answer for you I will do my best to find out.

  20. #20
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Dell, I trust you went on OCFRDs website and printed off the PT suggestions?
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT-RFB-KTF
    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

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