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Aspiring Firefighter Questions on Chosing a Dept

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  • Aspiring Firefighter Questions on Chosing a Dept

    Hey guys,

    My name's Rob and this is my first post. This is a good looking board you guys have here!


    I am seriously considering becoming a firefighter in NJ, my home state. My question to you guys is what would be the best way to compare different divisions to start applying to?

    My home town's division is volunteer only so I have to look elsewhere for employment. What would be the best way to compare the culture, hours, pension plans, etc of different divisions. It's a big decision and I want to get all the facts, as specific as possible.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Rob

  • #2
    Suggest if you are looking for a paid dept. Apply anywhere that is hiring and accept the department that picks you

    Work there a year at least if not more then decide to apply at other departments for reasons you think you should
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

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    • #3
      Apply anywhere and everywhere. Don't be picky. The first reason is so you can gain experience in the testing process. It may take you years (if ever) before you are hired. You need to become comfortable with this process. The second reason is you may be hired by a department that is 8th on your list of departments but when you actually start working for them, you may find out that you actually like the department and will stay there for a long time. If not, you can apply to other departments while working as a firefighter.

      Comment


      • #4
        Both these posts are right. You may have a dream department, but odds are against you getting the job with the first test. With that being said, there are people out there that have been hired right out the shoot, but not a majority by any means. I once heard it takes an average of four years to even get on a paid department. I will echo what the others have said; test, test, test anywhere, and everywhere. If you make it through the process, you can always turn it down if you feel it's not a good match for you.
        Good luck

        Comment


        • #5
          Great information guys, thanks!

          What do firehouses look at when selecting the next crop of firefighters? What would you do if you were me to stand out and what would get me in for an interview?

          A little about me: 24 years old, Bachelor of Arts Degree from a 4 year school in Political Science and History. No criminal record, solid employment record. I'm also working on starting my own charity.

          Comment


          • #6
            NJ does civil service every 3-4 years. The next exam coming up this spring. However, the application period has already passed so if you didn't apply you are **** out of luck for at least 3 years if not longer due to economy and possible lack of hiring. My advice is do what I am doing, enlist and then when you get out move to one of the bigger cities that have residency requirements.

            Veterans get hired before civilians. Disabled vets get hired before veterans. Many large cities have requirement you must live there. basically, if you are living in a town without a major fire department (think JC, Newark, Camden, etc) and you are a non-vet, you will almost definitely not get a job. Also, you must serve in combat zone to get the preference, too.

            There are few departments that do not do civil service but those you will most likely need to know somebody to get on. Sorry if this is bad news but it is all the truth.

            http://www.state.nj.us/csc/public_sa...ghter_opps.htm

            Read the entire site, including veterans preference. Hope this helps.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'am in the same boat. I'm currently 17 and will be 18 here shortly. I will be fresh out of high school with my EMT cert, volunteer experience, I speak spanish as well. I have been struggling to come up with a list of well paying, busy departments that I can apply to. My "dream department" is charlotte. but from what I have hear the process is brutal and the odds of employment are slim.

              If anyone can provide some insight to well paying, busy departments that do not necessairly have to be in my area ( North Carolina ) that will be highly appericated. they do not even have to be on the east coast for that matter.

              Thanks,

              Austin

              Comment


              • #8
                I will be honest with you, if you really want the job do not worry about finding a department that will hire you first because it is extremely difficult. Worry about salary next.

                Comment


                • #9
                  if there are any firefighters in the North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and surrounding areas can provide some insight on good departments, that will be well appericated. because I'm slightly overwhelmed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Take a look at Charlotte, definitely. You'll never get hired if you don't apply. I was lucky enough to get on the first time I applied, along with a couple others in my class. Also, I would recommend doing some research on Durham, Raleigh (both are now hiring) and Cary.

                    Before getting hired in Charlotte, I worked for the Columbia Fire Department in SC. Excellent mid-sized department (500 FFs on 3 shifts) that covers the city of Columbia and Richland County. There's also Rock Hill and Greenville, two departments I haven't heard anything bad about. Also, it seems that Charleston has made some huge strides in the past few years, so that's another option.

                    As young as you are, take your time and figure out where you want to live and how you want your career to turn out, and apply to departments that will help you fulfill those goals before you make choices that may otherwise limit your options. Lastly, remember that you don't have to retire from the first department that hires you, but you may find leaving hard to do, even if you are moving on to bigger and better things.

                    Hope this helps.

                    Dave

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      okeefer99,

                      Consider checking out the west coast, a lot of great departments. From what I know, theirs a lot less residency requirements, and a lot less of the veteran gets hired before the civilian bs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by battlecomedown View Post
                        Take a look at Charlotte, definitely. You'll never get hired if you don't apply. I was lucky enough to get on the first time I applied, along with a couple others in my class. Also, I would recommend doing some research on Durham, Raleigh (both are now hiring) and Cary.

                        Before getting hired in Charlotte, I worked for the Columbia Fire Department in SC. Excellent mid-sized department (500 FFs on 3 shifts) that covers the city of Columbia and Richland County. There's also Rock Hill and Greenville, two departments I haven't heard anything bad about. Also, it seems that Charleston has made some huge strides in the past few years, so that's another option.

                        As young as you are, take your time and figure out where you want to live and how you want your career to turn out, and apply to departments that will help you fulfill those goals before you make choices that may otherwise limit your options. Lastly, remember that you don't have to retire from the first department that hires you, but you may find leaving hard to do, even if you are moving on to bigger and better things.

                        Hope this helps.

                        Dave
                        thank you Dave, that did help. what do you mean how I want my career to turn out ?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nnfra200302 View Post
                          okeefer99,

                          Consider checking out the west coast, a lot of great departments. From what I know, theirs a lot less residency requirements, and a lot less of the veteran gets hired before the civilian bs.
                          BS? What BS are you referring to?

                          It has always been that veterans of the United States Armed Services gets a preference over someone who hasn't has military service. It is the law by the way.

                          Most anyone can join the military and get this preference. Before the draft was eliminated by the bureaucrats, every male had to serve at least 2 years in the military.
                          Stay Safe and Well Out There....

                          Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AustinPerkins92 View Post
                            if there are any firefighters in the North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and surrounding areas can provide some insight on good departments, that will be well appericated. because I'm slightly overwhelmed.
                            Charlotte and Durham, NC processes are currently open. Deadline has gotta be soon though. You just missed a ton of processes in Virginia. (Norfolk, Chesapeak, Newport News) I belive one process is still open? Charlottesville, VA just northwest of Richmond. There is a thread on here started so check it out.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Also check out this site: www.911hotjobs.com
                              Sign up for their email list. Its free! They catch alot of Dept. processes when they open and have direct links to information and how to apply. Good luck guys!

                              Comment

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