1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Taking a Better Job?

    This would probably be a lot easier if it wasn't seasonal work, but I've accepted a job offer with the USFS this summer (to work on an engine), and am set to start my season here pretty shortly. I recently took an interview with Cal Fire and think I've got a pretty good shot of receiving a job offer from that agency, and I'm trying to decide how I should take that at this point.

    Cal Fire would definitely be a more valuable career opportunity, giving me a better variety of calls and experience, a foot in the door with a large fire department, and significantly better pay. On the other hand, I'm thinking it'd be pretty cheap to turn down a job offer I previously accepted a week or two before my start date, or potentially mid-season.

    I also know that I should be coming back to applications for Cal Fire next year with a year of engine company experience and my FF1, so either way I shouldn't have a whole lot of trouble landing a job next year (though in all fairness, rehire rights would be very nice).

    Any advice on this one?

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    BigBruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    As a former USFS seasonal ff in Montana, I believe you would regret turning down the Forest Service's offer. I am not sure if you have prior years with wildland, but it was a life-changing experience for me.

    The teamwork, work ethic, crew cohesion, and sights and things you would be exposed to are invaluable and will only help you in the long run! Yes, I can relate to the pains of seasonal work (quit here, get hired until the end of fall, find another job for a few months, quit there, etc. etc).

    You will probably get differing viewpoints on this one, but it is ultimately up to you to decide.

    Feel free to email or PM me if you have any questions.


  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Southern NH


    Go work for USFS. You have that job right now, Cal Fire is not a gaurentee. As you said it might be halfway thru the season before acctually get hired and you would have to fill that time with something you probably don't want to do. Cross the deicion bridge when you acctually get there don't make a decision based on what might happen.

    From my experience guys with USFS on thier resume is a plus in the long run.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Flanders, NJ


    No one would blame you for leaving a seasonal job for a f/t career job if the opportunity arises.

  5. #5
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    JayDudley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Tough Choice

    While I have worked for a City Fire Department and now work with USFS I think you need to go with your heart. They both have their pluses and minuses. I do have to say that the USFS really do a fine job. After 6 weeks with them in Plains, Montana last year they really opened my eyes to how hard and respectible they work and present themselves.

    Jay Dudley, Retired Fire
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Default Switching jobs happens more than you know.

    Don't count your chickens before they hatch. I know candidates who test for as many of the regions Cal Fire holds tests and they never get the call. Take the job staring you in the face and if the other one comes along evaluate the pros and cons then to make your decision.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com
    Last edited by CaptBob; 03-31-2008 at 03:47 PM.

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