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  • Hiring a FF with a felony

    Hey everyone. I'm sure I will get a lot of negative attention for posting this thread, just try not to chew on my rear end to hard. OK. Well I am seriously doubting that I will ever get a job as a paid firefighter. I am currently in the army, an NCO with a Recon team currently deployed to Afghanistan. I have been deployed twice before to Iraq, and after three deployments I have decided that I have had enough. I want to get out and live the civilian life after 8 years of military service. I have been volunteering with the fire dept since I was in high school, so naturally I want to go into the fire service on a paid department. Thing is, in 2004 I was charged and convicted with Burglary. Yes, I did it. No point in lying. I was nineteen, and stupid, mixed up in a bad crowd and I am paying for it now. I just want to confirm my suspicions that I probably do not stand a chance of getting hired. I will go on to say that I have fought in two different countries in the War on Terror, am decorated, and have had nothing more on my record than a speeding ticket besides that one charge. I am assuming this does not negate the fact that I still have a felony charge, and will presumably will not get hired. Am I right? My volunteer department knows about this charge, and has no problem with it, my Chief says we all do dumb things sometimes. I can see how it is no problem when I'm not getting paid. Well, let me know what you all think. Just try not to slam me to hard, I'm not a criminal or a bad guy, just a soldier who Effed up. Thanks.
    Last edited by BigNozzlePumper; 10-18-2010, 05:01 PM.

  • #2
    Is it a charge or conviction? Were you convicted or did you plead guilty to the felony?

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    • #3
      I plead guilty as charged. Got sentenced with 4 yrs probation which the county terminated early after I returned from my first year long deployment to Iraq and my fines were paid.

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      • #4
        well cal fire, tends to hire people with prior felonies, same with other depts, but im sure it comes down to the nature of the crime and how long ago it was.

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        • #5
          Same thing I tell everyone else with a criminal history.

          If you have qualifications A-Z and a felony record and the person competing for your job has qualifications A-Z and no felony record, who would the city hire?
          Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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          • #6
            I did not know California did such a thing. From what I understand, it is virtually impossible to get on a department with a conviction. Its like what NM said, who are they going to hire first?

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            • #7
              apply with CalFire they will hire you

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              • #8
                I say when you get back to the states start applying. It will not hurt to try an take the coin flip. The worst is you get the rejection. I have several friends with an OWI/DUI and speeding tickets whom have been told they have no chance, yet got on very well known departments. Don't get me wrong though, historically and factually you "don't" have a chance, but you never will know if you don't try like my friends have and GOT THE BADGE at very respectable departments.

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                • #9
                  Thanks

                  I'd like to thank you for your service.....but if I have a choice of selecting a candidate with a felony or one without I'd pick the one without. My opinion and it's my choice I'm sure there will be others with different views....this is mine.

                  Good Luck
                  Respectfully,
                  Jay Dudley
                  Retired Fire
                  Background Investigator
                  IACOJ-Member
                  Lifetime Member CSFA
                  IAFF Alumni Member

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                  • #10
                    I appreciate the advice. I plan on trying to get a Govorner's pardon to erase my record, but I hear it's a long and sometimes futile process. I will apply to some departments and see what I can get, but most departments list in their PRE-reqs that the applicant is to have no prior criminal charges. That is where I got discouraged. You know, I expected a lot of guys to get on here and just bash on me and tell me not to bother and felons have no place in the FD. So to hear advice, and not a lot of BS is much appreciated. Any website I can go to do some research on Calfire and their hiring processes? Thanks again.

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                    • #11
                      Jobs

                      Go to www.fire.ca.gov and it will have all the info you need.

                      Again Good Luck
                      Respectfully,
                      Jay Dudley
                      Retired Fire
                      Background Investigator
                      IACOJ-Member
                      Lifetime Member CSFA
                      IAFF Alumni Member

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You can also petition to get it reduced to a misdemeanor and the expunged after a certain period of time? Heard of it done.....
                        It's tough though, with thousands of people and a great many vets applying, they really don't need to make any exceptions.....
                        But thank you for your service and good luck!!
                        My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
                        "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                        George Mason
                        Co-author of the Second Amendment
                        during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
                        Elevator Rescue Information

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                        • #13
                          I'm not sure if I can have it reduced or not. I know as it stands now, it is non-expungable. I can look into it. It is in the state of Illinois. Either way it is tricky, as there are literally thousands of applicants for pardon. I find it ironic that I can not have a gun in the states, but here I regularly handle .50 cal machine guns, fully automatic grenade launchers, rockets, and hand grenades etc. Even sitting here at this computer I have an M-4 assault rifle and a 9 mil on me. Its weird, but thats the price I pay for my mistakes of the past. So CalFire is mostly wildland am I correct?

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                          • #14
                            I know someone with the same crime on his record and he has been hired by two departments. When you go in on your interview be honest and tell them you learned from your mistake and hopefully they will see that by your service record, but like someone said the worst that will happen is you will not be hired but you will never get hired if you do not apply!

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                            • #15
                              Wow. I didn't think they would even consider me with that on my record. Thank you all for the advice. I am now more motivated to go out and try my hand at it. I love the fire service, and when my attorney advised that an expungement was impossible, I got really depressed. I have busted my a** getting all my IFSAC certs done, and am prepping for EMT-B now for the class when I get back. All you guys' advice has helped me get motivated again to try and get work in the fire service. It is the only thing that I can compare to the military, where there is plenty of camraderie, and a brotherhood, coupled with a desire to serve. I would have a hard time in another job, I imagine. I was afraid I was to be stuck as a volunteer for the rest of my life (and there is nothing wrong with being a volly, I love it but it dosn't pay the bills) but some of the wisdom expressed here has given me hope to go give career firefighting a shot. If I live through this tour, I think I may stand a legitimate chance. I guess there is only one way to find out.....

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