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Need Info...please help!! Pennsylvania

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  • Need Info...please help!! Pennsylvania

    Hello all, I am new to the site and firefighting in general. I'm a 27 year old female, in great shape, looking to become a full-time firefighter. I've had very little basic firefighting training, nothing extensive at all, I have taken the 40 hour OSHA course for my job as a commercial/industrial plumber of 7 years, but other than that I have no experience!! They PFD gave their test a couple months ago and won't be testing for another 4 years. Can anyone give me any info on any other Academy I can attend?? I am really lost and don't know where to start, I'll do anything to get this ball rolling!! I am even willing to move and/or travel!!

  • #2
    You won't be finding much of anything in Pennsylvania. What part of the state are you in?

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    • #3
      I'll be in Bucks County, in Holland, I'll be there by the end of August, I'm in the middle of moving, but it's the house where I grew up so I was thinkin of volunteering until I could find something somewhere.

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      • #4
        A few options:

        - Try federal firefighting jobs. I recall seeing a number of openings in PA at www.usajobs.com.
        - If you aren't committed to PA, Jersey is hiring; the application period is open until the end of this month // so is NYC (residency requirements).
        - Try places like PG or Mont Co in Maryland, or even Baltimore City. All have tests coming up within the next 6-12 months. None have residency requirements, just preferences.
        - Philly Fire : October '09 is the next test (or that is what I hear from HR).

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        • #5
          Come on down to the Northern VA, MD, and DC area. Always ongoing testing.
          Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, Loudon County, Montgomery County, PG County. Just google their FD's and call HR or find their website for more information. Good luck to you.

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          • #6
            Thanks so much guys, I really don't understand how all this works, is the Philly Academy the only one in my area?? I just thought there'd be different training centers for the different areas. But Virginia doesn't sound like a bad move!! I'll keep it in mind...how long is the program??

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            • #7
              I am not too sure about Pennsylvania training centers. But if you are looking for training centers just to get basic training in firefighting in general, any school in Florida is good, like a 450 hour course where you put yourself through it, but I know thats far from PA. But if your looking to go full time, probably will have to start an academy after hired.
              Georgia Firefighter

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Higsss
                Thanks so much guys, I really don't understand how all this works, is the Philly Academy the only one in my area?? I just thought there'd be different training centers for the different areas. But Virginia doesn't sound like a bad move!! I'll keep it in mind...how long is the program??
                Most major cities run their own training academies for their career personnel and new recruits. You'll also find fire academies located around the state in most counties that volunteer stations use for their basic and ongoing training.

                If you're looking to make a full time career out of the fire service you need to start looking for municipalities that are looking for new blood. If you're not sure about the fiore service but want to get a taste of what's involved you may want to look into a local volunteer fire station. They will pay for your basic training in exchange for some of your time. A Firefighter 1 course, I believe, is usually about 130-140 hours now. So you might go 2-3 nights a week plus Saturdays for about a semester.

                But again if you know you want to do it you need to get the experience of taking the tests and getting familiar with the hiring process. Take as many tests in as many different places that you can.

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                • #9
                  The central Virginia area departments (Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover) are hiring on a continious basis. We have A LOT of people from the Pennsylvania area coming down for jobs, perhaps you could be one of them?
                  Career Fire Captain
                  Volunteer Chief Officer


                  Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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                  • #10
                    Local training

                    Im from Montco (PA). If you're looking for an academy, try out Bucks county. They have classes going throughout the year, and you get your national certs if you complete the course. These certs will usually only get you into Federal or small municipilaties, as larger ones (PFD, NYC, PG, etc..) have thier own that you are required to go through no matter how much experience you have.

                    www.bucks.edu/publicsafety/
                    A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

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                    • #11
                      As stated above --

                      try out volunteering. that will allow you to get your feet wet and see if you want to do this as a full time job, or as something on the side. you will make a contribution whichever way you choose.

                      most often, volunteer stations will provide or pay for your training; depending on jurisdiction, this means FFI/II/III, EMT, etc. etc. etc. you must take a minimium, but you are open to taking as many classes as you want/can.
                      i.e. volunteers take classes through MFRI in Maryland, or their respective counties in NJ/PA and get certified.

                      if you decide to pursue this as a career, then you will need to wait for the department of your choice to post an announcement; you will then need to take a written exam. once you pass the written, you will go through physical, medical, psychological, and background testing. after hired, you will go through THEIR academy -- whether or not you had pervious certs is a non-issue. i.e. you were a volunteer, but get hired by FDNY -- you go through FDNY's fire academy.

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                      • #12
                        Bucks

                        The new PA essentials of firefighting is 166 hours. It will pretty much prepare you for your FF I which is a pretty good place to start. Bucks County Community College (or HACC) offers this course throughout the commonwealth. Most volunteer dept's wil pay for it also.

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                        • #13
                          Your are all too awesome!! Thanks for all the info and especially the link!! I will definately check it out, JTFIRE that is perfect!! Since I am moving back into my childhood home in Bucks County!! I'll keep you all posted how it goes, right now I'm finishing up packing my stuff to get all moved out!!

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                          • #14
                            Harrisburg City is testing, Altoona is testing... but I would go with something in the DC area, because there aren't usually residency requirements and you can commute if you really wanted to. If you want to move somewhere after you get hired, go for FDNY. If you want to stay in Bucks, just get a regular job and volunteer.

                            I hear they're about 10-15 people short at Willow Grove NAS... j/k

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                            • #15
                              I am a member of the 111th Fighter Wing at Willow Grove NAS on the AirGuard side. The Navy firehouse is definitely in need of people. Some of the guys are working up there all week on overtime, over 100hours atleast, cause of the shortage. On drill weekends, we go over to there side to help them out with manning on hardstand and on the engines.

                              If you get apply and get in there, its a start and after you get in you can try and relocate to the base of your choice once your in the system.
                              -Ron Stanton

                              Avondale Fire Company
                              Chester County Station 23

                              visit our page @ http://www.avondalefirecompany.org

                              DCFD
                              Engine Co. 11
                              www.houseofflame.com

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