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Smokejumping and the structural world?

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  • Smokejumping and the structural world?

    I know this may seem like it would be better in the wildland section, but as a career path from starting in wildland going into the structural world would spending time as a smokejumper be a good way to start and build a career from? or should one go strait to applying to a city department?

    Is wildland or smokejumping experience beneficial to an applicant to a city departement?

    Does anyone know anything about how to become a smokejumper?

    Does anyone have any other info about smokejumpers?

    Any incite would benefit me greatly as I am relatively new to fire fighting and would like to make a career out of it.

    Thank you for your time.

    (please no links to sites that I could easily get by typing smokejumper into google, I'm looking for personal knowledge of the subject)

    Re-posted from Employment and hiring section

  • #2
    how old are you??

    smokejumping is seasonal for beginners

    hurst when you do not land correctly

    two different firefighting enviroments

    might help you get in shape

    check some of the history or discovery channels, they seem to be a little tougher now a days on training seesm alittle worse then marines!!!


    • #3
      I can't help but think it would make for an interesting interview.

      Sure beats pumping gas for a resume builder.
      I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

      "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

      "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."


      • #4
        check you tube for some video

        i know you do not want links but:::



        • #5
          While it is certainly a parallel career, I see guys and gals that go to the brush firefighting career path fall way behind their conterparts who stay focused on getting hired on municipal departments. The primary reason for this is the duration of the fire season. It usually begins in may and runs through December (on the West Coast). This schedule makes it impossible to go to school and take EMT and fire science which are prerequisites for the basic fire academy. The academy sets you apart from your competition and is often required just to take the entry level tests.

          Having said all of this, I really appreciate it as a strike team leader when I have a firefighter on one of my engines who is a brush expert. The reality is that this is a very small part of a structural firefighter's job.
          Paul Lepore
          Division Chief
          Paul Lepore
          Battalion Chief


          • #6
            Thank you for your incite,
            with that I would like to pose some additional questions that pertain more to my situation, I didn't ask this first so I could get an unbiased opinion about smokejumping first, I personally work as a wildland firefighter and EMT-B while I am in school (fire in the summer, school in the winter) additionally I have been a volunteer fire fighter for the fire department that serves my school and surrounding community, I am preparing to transfer from a community college to a university to obtain my Bachelor of Science in nursing, with the intent of once I am an RN to go into UCLA's paramedic program for RN's (http://www.cpc.mednet.ucla.edu/cpc/course/rntopm), currently I have the option to apply to smokejump, I would have to take half a year off of school which would set me a whole year off my planed start date at the university if I was to be selected, I would like to know if this plan would set me up in a good position to get a job in structural fire later in life once I decide to settle down?

            Would it help to have the smokejumping experience in addition to the wildland experience, RN and EMT-P? I would still continue to work in wildfire while in school either way just possibly on an engine or hand crew.

            Would the RN in addition to EMT-P help me get a city fire job?
            (questions raised by my significant other and my family)

            Any info on any of these subjects really helps.

            Once again thank you for your time.

            P.S fire49 to answer your question I am 23, also thank you for your link it was a good read.
            Last edited by CasperC3; 09-14-2010, 01:22 PM. Reason: fix a typo


            • #7
              guess you have to look at where you want to be in 5 and 10 years

              if you want to smokejump just to say you did it then go for it for a few years

              will it help in applying for a city job, more them likey not much

              RN vs paramedic, it is a good fall back to have, and great paying off duty job

              not a medic, but would give you more knowledge


              • #8
                what state are you in???


                • #9
                  Im in California, also im not concerned with RN vs paramedic, I am deffiently doing my RN and since I love fire I know I would need my paramedic to apply it toward a fire department application since I dont know many fire departments with RN positions, I am just curious if the additial medical train I would have would make me stand out on an application.


                  • #10
                    RN doesn't do much for you. Paramedic certainly does. To my lack of knowledge, I would classify wild land and smoke jumping as the same thing....
                    Paul Lepore
                    Battalion Chief


                    • #11
                      You will only be able to function as a paramedic, nothing higher, so I doubt the extra medical training would do much for you. Most departments will be glad you have SOME experience rather than being fresh out of school.
                      Fire Service Interview questions - The blog that has REAL interview questions for firefighters, Engineers, Lieutenants, and Captains !


                      • #12
                        Smokejumpers are the Top of the Wildland game, ( Its Hot-spot retirement.) If you spend the time to get to that level you will have a very good background in more than just firefighting tactics.
                        The only down side is that jumping is physical and there is a chance of getting hurt, before making it into the structural side of it. IMHO Showing you where a jumper would dam sure help your application out, more so that a RN. Also remember you can turn a FF into a Medic, but rarely a Medic into a FF.
                        Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.


                        • #13
                          reposted from your other thread
                          Last edited by johnwemt; 11-22-2011, 07:26 PM.


                          • #14
                            I'm sorry but I don't understand exactly what a smoke jumper is.


                            • #15
                              Thank you all for the advice and perspective, I will definitely take it into account.

                              So, as an update I have discussed this subject with my captain and he has introduced a third option. The option is for me to drop out of school and become a permanent employee; he believes that I would be able to make captain in 5 to 6 years. He will support my decision to take any of the three options by: recommending me for a seasonal smokejumper job while I go to school (I would have to take a year off of school essentially though), having me work for him as a seasonal lead fire fighter while I go to school (finish with my BSN/RN and EMT-P in about 4 to 5 years), or recommend me for a permanent job that would allow me to move up quickly to captain. (I would still want to get my EMT-P at some point though) I would like to get a structural fire job down the road when I settle down, my significant other has made it very clear to me that she does not want me to be a career wildland firefighter (due to the time spent away from home in the summer). With that said I was hoping to get some more perspective.

                              With the option of making captain in a short time, where would being a wildland captain put me in terms of applying to a structural department? And if I chose this route, at what point should I get my EMT-P? Before becoming permanent, after being permanent (but before applying to a structural department), or after getting a structural job?

                              What route would put me in the best position to get a job with a structural department?

                              Once again, thank you for taking the time to help me with these issues I greatly appreciate the perspective of the wider firefighting community.

                              (Also should I post this question as a new thread or is this still covered under the original topic?)

                              To answer Larsen 2430 a smokejumper is a wildland firefighter that is capable of parachuting to a fire or other incident. Some have described them as the top of the wildland firefighting world, all I know is that they are very highly trained and experienced. http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/people/smokejumpers/


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