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Spokane?

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  • Spokane?

    Hello,

    I am in the process of a career change to the fire service and have lived in California for the past decade. I recently graduated from a California Basic Fire Academy, and had planned to begin a career in the fire service in Southern California. Due to unforeseen family circumstances, I am considering moving to Coeur d'Alene. I am writing to ask whether anyone has good knowledge on the culture of City of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Coeur d'Alene, or any other departments I may have overlooked. I am looking more closely at City of Spokane and Spokane Valley, particularly because the reason I was drawn and excited to make a career change to the fire service in California was the paramilitary structure, size of the departments, volume of calls, many specialty areas that allow for opportunities to branch out laterally (and not just promote up vertically), etc.

    I am on the eligibility list for a large department in my home state in the Midwest. When I have done station visits there, I have left somewhat disappointed, as the culture just felt much different than what I am used to and what I have learned about departments in Southern California. It is not my intent to disrespect any particular department, but I do feel that we can objectively recognize that there are some cultural differences in the fire service depending on what area of the country you're in, and because of those differences I do not think I would make a major life move back to the Midwest for a job offer, as we all have different career aspirations.

    So, before I would consider I major life move to Northern Idaho, I am in the very early phases of learning about Spokane and Spokane Valley, each of which seem to be very professional departments. Another option I have considered is continuing with the plan of getting hired in California, complete academy/probation, continuing to live in California a couple years after probation until I feel I have demonstrated value and worth to the department and gained respect from coworkers, etc., then moving to Idaho and commuting. I know of some that do this from the Boise area. Another option maybe be commuting to Seattle.

    If anyone has any information or insight on Spokane or Spokane Valley, or living in the Spokane area but commuting somewhere else, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • #2
    Originally posted by 151727 View Post
    Hello,

    I am in the process of a career change to the fire service and have lived in California for the past decade. I recently graduated from a California Basic Fire Academy, and had planned to begin a career in the fire service in Southern California. Due to unforeseen family circumstances, I am considering moving to Coeur d'Alene. I am writing to ask whether anyone has good knowledge on the culture of City of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Coeur d'Alene, or any other departments I may have overlooked. I am looking more closely at City of Spokane and Spokane Valley, particularly because the reason I was drawn and excited to make a career change to the fire service in California was the paramilitary structure, size of the departments, volume of calls, many specialty areas that allow for opportunities to branch out laterally (and not just promote up vertically), etc.

    I am on the eligibility list for a large department in my home state in the Midwest. When I have done station visits there, I have left somewhat disappointed, as the culture just felt much different than what I am used to and what I have learned about departments in Southern California. It is not my intent to disrespect any particular department, but I do feel that we can objectively recognize that there are some cultural differences in the fire service depending on what area of the country you're in, and because of those differences I do not think I would make a major life move back to the Midwest for a job offer, as we all have different career aspirations.

    So, before I would consider I major life move to Northern Idaho, I am in the very early phases of learning about Spokane and Spokane Valley, each of which seem to be very professional departments. Another option I have considered is continuing with the plan of getting hired in California, complete academy/probation, continuing to live in California a couple years after probation until I feel I have demonstrated value and worth to the department and gained respect from coworkers, etc., then moving to Idaho and commuting. I know of some that do this from the Boise area. Another option maybe be commuting to Seattle.

    If anyone has any information or insight on Spokane or Spokane Valley, or living in the Spokane area but commuting somewhere else, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    A couple of thoughts

    No info on Spokane

    I keep hearing Calif is hard to get hired in, but more cities to test in.

    Spokane area kind limits, plus look into how often they have been testing

    I guess one question is where do you really want to live??

    A factor,,,, Are you married??
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

    Comment


    • #3
      It is not “easy” to get hired in California (or anywhere for that matter), but if one takes the propers steps, such as fire technology courses, Basic Fire Academy, work as an EMT, become a Reserve or paid call firefighter, it can and will happen. The only people that don’t get hired are the ones that quit. It may be more difficult for an out-of-state candidate to get hired in California without a Basic Fire Academy, which is comparable to a career academy in most other areas of the country (16 weeks full-time). It happens, but less frequently.

      I like living in California, but could see myself enjoying Northern Idaho and getting back into things I did growing up and in college, such as hunting and fishing.

      I am not married, but I do have a child, and that is ultimately a large factor in this decision-making process. I have a plan in place regarding my child if I choose to stay in California. Moving to Coeur d’Alene would just allow for even more time since distance is no longer a factor.

      Ultimately, it is a career decision. I want to work somewhere 30 years and have job satisfaction, feel busy/productive, feel like I’m being challenged, and overall work for a professional department with a strong reputation. I get bored easily. If I were to work for a small rural department with low call volume, then knowing myself I feel like I wouldn’t have as much job satisfaction. No disrespect to these types of departments. All areas need to served. It’s just a matter of career preference.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 151727 View Post
        It is not “easy” to get hired in California (or anywhere for that matter), but if one takes the propers steps, such as fire technology courses, Basic Fire Academy, work as an EMT, become a Reserve or paid call firefighter, it can and will happen. The only people that don’t get hired are the ones that quit. It may be more difficult for an out-of-state candidate to get hired in California without a Basic Fire Academy, which is comparable to a career academy in most other areas of the country (16 weeks full-time). It happens, but less frequently.

        I like living in California, but could see myself enjoying Northern Idaho and getting back into things I did growing up and in college, such as hunting and fishing.

        I am not married, but I do have a child, and that is ultimately a large factor in this decision-making process. I have a plan in place regarding my child if I choose to stay in California. Moving to Coeur d’Alene would just allow for even more time since distance is no longer a factor.

        Ultimately, it is a career decision. I want to work somewhere 30 years and have job satisfaction, feel busy/productive, feel like I’m being challenged, and overall work for a professional department with a strong reputation. I get bored easily. If I were to work for a small rural department with low call volume, then knowing myself I feel like I wouldn’t have as much job satisfaction. No disrespect to these types of departments. All areas need to served. It’s just a matter of career preference.


        Sounds like your first look should be a job near your child.

        Get hired there give it a couple years and see where you are at and how you feel.

        Maybe next is a Northern Calif city dept


        I think you may have some misconceptions about different depts and the fire service


        Good luck in your quest

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

        Comment


        • #5
          Spokane uses Public Safety Testing for their written and cpat. You need both before you apply.

          https://www.publicsafetytesting.com/

          CDA should be testing this year at some point. You need your emt-b though.

          Edit: CDA will be opening their app period by end of this week or next week. Written test will be in April
          Last edited by Boize208; 03-02-2020, 03:10 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            I looked in to Spokane and I had a good conversation with their recruiting officer and one of their civil service reps. We were actually going to go forward with it as there was some interest, but life has taken some other turns for us, and we're moving southeast instead of northwest. Some key takeaways from the conversation: they alternate hiring between Basic and Paramedics. I think this year they are on their Basic list. You must have at least an EMT-B to apply and test. If you have your FF 1 and 2 certs, that will help you out tremendously. The downside? They exclusively use Public Safety Testing for both their written and their CPAT. You can schedule a test at an out of state facility for the written, but you MUST take the CPAT at the PST facility. They will pay for your CPAT, but it is only valid for their department and you have to take the CPAT before you can interview.

            Comment

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