Thread: Army to Fire transition
04-04-2008, 01:41 AM #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
Army to Fire transition
A little about me:
I have a year and 5 months left with the Army, currently a paratrooper (E-5/SGT) in the 82nd at Ft. Bragg, NC. I'm looking into the fire profession when i leave the Army. Moving to Phoenix, AZ. I will be 26 when i get out.
Have a couple of questions:
I can run a 2 mile in 13:51, 55 push ups in 2 minutes, 68 situps in 2 minutes. My best ruck was 2 hours 45 minutes with a 35lb. rucksack with a M249 SAW. Will I have a problem with the CPAT? I'm in shape and have no trouble with PT.
Am I too old to start?
Is the CPAT really that tough? I understand it is a good way to weed out people, but i am in shape. I read the CPAT testing conditions and it seems tough, but i wouldn't know untill i actually do it.
I am missing my right pec muscle. When i was new to the Army, i had a tough time with push-ups, however the Army has built me well above the standard (for my age group, 40 push ups in 2 minutes is minimum). Havn't had any problems since and this is really minor since other muscle groups compensate fore the missing right pec.
I am a year away from a Bachlors in Computer Science. I'm planning on taking leave this November to take the CPAT in Arizona since i will be out in August 2009. Most fire departments in Phoenix want a passing CPAT within 12 months of application and within 9 months prior to academy. What other actions could I take so I don't have to wait long for an academy start date?
Any information at all is appreciated, especially if you are prior army you will be in a better position to understand half of this army speak. thank you,
Sgt Russell, US ARMY
82nd ABN DIV
04-20-2008, 03:02 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
- Meadow Vista, Ca
I was in your shoes in June of 2004. After getting back from the sandbox from an 11 month tour with 4th I.D. I was looking to get into the fire service as well. I always knew I wanted to be a fireman, so it was no suprise that I started pursuing my career right after my service. To answer your questions and to ease your mind...you will have no problem getting a job as long as it's truly what you want to do. Keep in mind that it is a difficlult proccess to get hired, probably the hardest. However, you have a step up above your competition coming from the Army HOOAH!
I see that your with the eighty duece! Your PT score shows me that you will have no problem with the CPAT and you will most likely laugh to yourself when you complete the course 5 min early.
Phoenix is a great dept. a leader of the industry. I am currently working as a FF/Paramedic in Ca and learn a lot from their progressive and aggressive style of doing the job. Good luck, but look around the forums and you will notice that it is neccessary to keep an open mind and test with a variety of agencies not just your "Dream Dept.". You could be in for a let down if you don't get it.
So searge, I hope I have put your mind at ease and motivate you to pursue your career in the fire service. Keep your PT up and you will be academy ready right when you get out. Another thing, have you thought about going to Paramedic school? Would you be interested? A lot of departments are looking for medics due to the fact that a majority of our calls are medical these days and most agencies staff their engines and trucks with Paramedics. It is a tough school, but rewarding. Your G.I bill will pay for it too. Keep it in mind!
If you have any further questions feel free to email me back. Hope you succeed!
*Remember...we never rise to the level of our expectations. Rather, we ALWAYS fall to the level of our training! Stay Safe, Train Hard!
04-20-2008, 04:36 PM #3
I am a year away from a Bachlors in Computer Science.
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
With a BS in CompSci, you are going to be the most popular dude in the firehouse. You will be troubleshooting, installing and repairing like you won't believe.PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.
04-21-2008, 12:20 AM #4
First of all let me say thanks to the two of you for your service.I'll echo what George has said plus you'll do fine with your testing. Those who throw exams would love to see you on the other side of the table. You would make a great Firefighter. Good Luck!!Respectfully,
Lifetime Member CSFA
IAFF Alumni Member
04-21-2008, 01:09 AM #5
Thanks for serving. My brother is a paratrooper down there.~But with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26~
~The very worst fire plan is no plan. The next worse is two plans. ~
~Stay Safe! Everyone Goes Home!~
04-21-2008, 09:23 AM #6
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Candidates who have served our country in the Armed Forces have a huge advantage over those who have not. It is generally believed that while a military veterans may not have as many certificates and fire science units as the other candidates (they were busy serving our country), they offer so much more.
There is no substitute for life experience. The personal growth a young man or woman experiences in the military is second to none. This growth is of course magnified depending on the assignments held. Many of those who joined the military at a young age grew up very rapidly when put into dangerous situations.
Being assigned to the front line is not required to get “credit” for serving in the military. Fire departments realize that there are many support roles that require dedication and commitment. While there is only one person on the nozzle that puts out the fire, there are numerous other assignments that need to take place on the fire ground. It is important that a firefighter be willing to work in a support role for the good of the team.
The fire service is a para-military organization. Many of the common terms in the fire service, such as Captain and lieutenants were taken directly from the military. Words like code, honor, commitment, and integrity are as important to the fire service as they are to the military.
Men and women with military backgrounds are usually very mature, regardless of their age. They understand the need to get along with others, especially with people who come from different backgrounds from them. They understand commitment and the need to work until the job is completed. They are used to working for long periods of time in less than ideal conditions.
Physical fitness is emphasized in the military. As a result military men and women are usually in very good shape. This is extremely important to the fire service, because the number one reason entry-level candidates fail out of the academy is due to poor physical fitness. In addition, a physically fit firefighter will miss less time due to injury than a firefighter who is not fit. Military personnel have been taught the importance of a life-long physical fitness program and the importance of proper diet. These good habits will be shared with the firefighters in the station.
Military people demonstrate respect for authority and understand the chain of command. The fire service operates on the same hierarchy principle as the military. The group clearly understands code and honor. These qualities are extremely important in the fire service, because firefighters are held to a higher standard than the average person in the community.
Military men and women are used to working in a structured environment. They understand the importance of doing something right the first time. Similar to the fire department, people’s lives are impacted if things are not kept in a constant state of operational readiness. Firefighters must check out their equipment each and every day. They must know the intricacies of each tool kept on the engine or truck. Training and continuing education are essential to the fire service. It is imperative that firefighters are able to work unsupervised; completion of a job or task is a reflection of them.
Getting along in the fire station is critically important to being successful in the fire service. Courtesy to fellow firefighters is critical. Cleaning up after one self is expected. This is one of the first things military men and women learn in Basic Training.
One of the strengths found in military men and women, however, is also commonly a cause of strife during their probationary year. People who have earned rank in the military are used to giving orders. As a rookie firefighter you are expected to take orders, not give them. Humility is an extremely important quality to possess as a rookie firefighter. Oftentimes rookie firefighters who have spent time in the military are older than the average candidate.
It is not uncommon for an older probationary firefighter to be working under the tutelage of a much younger senior firefighter, engineer, or even lieutenant or captain. If the rookie firefighter does not have the proper mind set, he or she will be in for a difficult probationary year.
If you are still in the military and are interested in a career in the fire service, it is important that you start making provisions NOW. Start taking online classes NOW.
If possible, put yourself in a position to get fire service-related training such as Medic or Corpsman. Hazardous Materials and firefighter training will also be beneficial. Lastly, work on general education courses so you can earn your Associates degree.
Do not be intimidated by all of the candidates who have every certification under the sun. They were able to obtain these as full-time students while you were busy fulfilling your continuous to the American people.
A candidate who is an EMT, possesses related experience as a reserve or volunteer firefighter, and is active taking fire science courses is usually at the top of his or her game. Get your qualifications, learn how to take a fire department interview, and earn your badge.
04-21-2008, 06:05 PM #7
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
and thus start the plugs.
04-21-2008, 08:05 PM #8
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
- Tucson, Arizona
Hi! You are far from being too old to start. My husband retired from the Army in 2006. He got hired by the city of Tucson and went throught their fire academy at age 41. Good luck!
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