1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Paid Call Firefighter or Fire Academy

    I am applying to be a PCF for a fire dept in my district. I had oreintation today and the captain informed us that you will not receive your FF1 cert. But on the other hand you get good experience. I'm also thinking of going to thru a different fire academy where I will receive all my certs but wont get that same experience. Should I go through both or would it be more valuable to do PCF.

    Maybe unanswerable questions but just looking for a little advice. Thanks.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Southern California

    Cool My Advice.....

    As a Career Engineer that has guided many lost souls..... Not that you are..... I recommend taking both.
    Most PCF Academies are on the weekend, are far shorter than the Entry-Level Academy, preceed the E.L. Academy and use the same Instructors for both Academies.
    If you go through the PCF Academy and find that this job isn't for you then you've only loss 6-10 weekends. Whereas if you go through the Entry-Level Academy and find this job isn't for you, you've loss 8-10 weeks of Mon thru Sat time.
    The training in the PCF Academy will still be fresh in your mind while you are doing your evolutions for the Entry-Level Academy. This will make the basic evolutions much more simpler and make it more of a refresher than an actual exercise.
    Some times gettin' your face seen can be just as beneficial as havin' a family member in the job. By attending the PCF Academy, if it comes down to you and somebody else gettin' that final position guess who will probably get it......
    I'm not sure what state you're from, but the State of California's FF1 sign off can be done at the Station Level. Once you have your experience and burns then you're done. I still recommend taking an Academy though, because it'll show you the training, discipline and mental strength needed to perform in this job.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  3. #3
    Permanently Removed
    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002


    What I did and would recommend-

    Go through the PCF academy, get some education and experience- Build a foundation.

    Then go through a college academy and build off of that first foundation. Then get "FF1 Trained" and then after 1 year as a PCF, your eligible for your CA FF1 through the CSFM.

    Also- When I was a PCF, I was "sponsored" to the academy. I think this gave you Workers Comp. benefits as well.

    Does that sound ok?
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-21-2007 at 09:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    Awesome, thanks for the advice.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    localva's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    I used to be a paid on call firefighter. But, when I finished the academy I got FF1...I don't know how someone can become a firefighter without FF1. It's the most basic of basic.

    In your situation, I would go through the paid on call course first and then go through the official one afterwards. This way you have a good handle on things and in the end you should get your FF1 and FF2 (if applicable).

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