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  • Military Experience?

    I have a question, I have been a firefighter in the military for about five years now, 4 of those were riding the rescue rig, and I should be out of the military by next year. I have good knowledge about the fire ground, I have the following certs.- FF 1, 2/ AARF/ Driver operator pumper, and mobile water/ Telecumunicator 1, 2/ rescue technician 1, and confined space / water rescue, SCUBA qualified, hazmat technician, Texas state EMT-B, and space shuttle rescue (this wont be much help I think, lol) What I was wondering if any of this matters in applying for a fire department? I realize there is no better job then a firefighter, so I am just hoping I won’t have to start all over again. I am looking to go work in Indiana, but I would appreciate any help I can get no matter what state thank you

  • #2
    Certainly any fire department will appreciate your experience. Departments who have CFR as part of their responsibility will place greater value on your experience.

    Are you in the military assigned as a firefighter, or are you a civilian working on a military base?


    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I am currently deployed overseas, i wont be back till jan, and hopefully be out of the military by april, then i can start job seeking.

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      • #4
        Those are some awesome certs to have. Working on EMT-Intermediate here.

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        • #5
          I have received a bunch of inquires lately for men and women who are looking to transition from the military into the fire service. I would like to share some thoughts with those of you who are considering such a move.

          Good luck and thanks for serving our country.


          Military Experience
          Candidates who have served our country in the Armed Forces have a huge advantage over those who have not. It is generally believed that while you may not have as many certificates and fire science units as the other candidates (you were busy serving our country), you offer much more.

          Experience shows that candidates with military experience usually possess the following attributes:

          1. They are very mature.
          2. They understand the need to get along with others.
          3. They understand commitment.
          4. They are usually physically fit.
          5. They demonstrate respect for authority.
          6. They understand the chain of command.
          7. They are used to working in a structured environment.
          8. They understand doing something right the first time.
          9. They are used to working unsupervised.
          10. They understand doing a job or task is a reflection of themselves.
          11. They understand the importance of cleaning up after themselves.

          If you are still in the military and are interested in a career in the fire service, it is important that you start making provisions NOW. Start taking online fire science courses. Here is one link to get you started http://www.firecareers.com/viewmess...m=11&Topic=6571

          If possible, put yourself in a position to get fire service-related training such as Medic or Corpsman. Hazardous Materials and firefighter training will also be beneficial. Lastly, work on general education courses so you can earn your Associates degree.

          Do not be intimidated by all of the candidates who have every certification under the sun. They were able to obtain these as full time students while you were busy fulfilling your obligation to the American people.

          A candidate who is an EMT, possesses related experience as a reserve or volunteer firefighter and is active taking fire science courses is usually at the top of his or her game. Get your qualifications, learn how to take a fire department interview and earn your badge.

          Paul Lepore
          Battalion Chief
          www.aspiringfirefighters.com
          Paul Lepore
          Battalion Chief
          www.aspiringfirefighters.com

          Comment


          • #6
            so I am just hoping I won’t have to start all over again
            Trying not to sound like a pessimist or disgruntled here, but....

            This is the biggest problem I've had with former military firefighters. I've gotten to the point where I'd rather hire a non-firefighter veteran. Although a few of the older candidates knew how to play the game and did well in probation and kept their mouth shut and eyes & ears open, the typical former military firefighters always found it necessary to mention how they did things in the military, or at their last base, or at Goodfellow, etc. And they always thought all their DOD certifications ment something (which they don't in CA - sorry, but your 1 week Fire Officer 1 cert doesn't compare to CASFM's).

            Here's my opinion - your military experience is a great asset. Even better that you've received top notch training and certifications which may benefit you in certain states. You have gained life and occupational experience that will set you apart from other applicants. HOWEVER, when you transition to a civilian municipal FD, you ARE starting over again. If you have to re-do an academy...DO IT. Sometimes the same goes for any civilian FF that laterals to another FD. If you don't want to start over, then stay in the military or go fed fire. (actually, fed fire probably would be a good choice in Indiana) When you're on probation...it's only a year or two out of a twenty plus year civilian career...act like you're an E-1 or E-2 again. You're a snot nosed rookie. Let your experience and maturity show through your actions. You'll have plenty of time for your "been-there-done-that" stories when you get off probation.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by frozen7051
              Trying not to sound like a pessimist or disgruntled here, but....

              This is the biggest problem I've had with former military firefighters. I've gotten to the point where I'd rather hire a non-firefighter veteran. Although a few of the older candidates knew how to play the game and did well in probation and kept their mouth shut and eyes & ears open, the typical former military firefighters always found it necessary to mention how they did things in the military, or at their last base, or at Goodfellow, etc. And they always thought all their DOD certifications ment something (which they don't in CA - sorry, but your 1 week Fire Officer 1 cert doesn't compare to CASFM's).

              Here's my opinion - your military experience is a great asset. Even better that you've received top notch training and certifications which may benefit you in certain states. You have gained life and occupational experience that will set you apart from other applicants. HOWEVER, when you transition to a civilian municipal FD, you ARE starting over again. If you have to re-do an academy...DO IT. Sometimes the same goes for any civilian FF that laterals to another FD. If you don't want to start over, then stay in the military or go fed fire. (actually, fed fire probably would be a good choice in Indiana) When you're on probation...it's only a year or two out of a twenty plus year civilian career...act like you're an E-1 or E-2 again. You're a snot nosed rookie. Let your experience and maturity show through your actions. You'll have plenty of time for your "been-there-done-that" stories when you get off probation.
              I couldn't agree more. Too many former military FF's talk about their certs. I have the same certs but learned more in the first 3 months at a city department than my 4 years on a military FD. And do not take this the wrong way, but many guys I know that have an attitude, end up "just taking" a GS job at their final duty station. They essentially give up on getting their dream job as a city firefighter. You get a lot of respect for doing your time in the military.
              On a side note, keep the volunteer FF stories and certifications quiet as well. There will be time to tell them someday, but not until you have been on the job a while and even then you will probably realize, they are not that cool anyway.

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              • #8
                Frozen beat me to the punch. When you come over to the Civ. FD, you WILL START OVER AGAIN.

                Certs. and experience are nice. BUT...Please view your military experience as a base or platform to work off of. I dont need to hear someone new saying- "In the Army, we did this..." for 24 hours.

                Some good advice from Frozen.

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                • #9
                  so I am just hoping I won’t have to start all over again.
                  Don't come to St. Paul, everybody goes through the academy. Then starts off as an apprentice with a lock-step education/training program for 3 years.
                  Though you will be awarded 5 vet points with an honorable discharge, which with the compition, can be huge. Good luck.
                  PS Fort Wayne is rumored to be a real decent department.
                  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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                  • #10
                    sorry that is what i meant guys, i know i will probaly go thrue the fire acadamy again, and its not a bad thing, i am always wanting to learn new things and i am wanting to go thru another acadamy so i can learn the way that dept does things. thanks for all of your help

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Most departments require you to take the whole recruit program, regardless of what you have or who you are. It is their way to insure that you know what they expect of you for the next 20 or so years. The training that you have will be a benifit to you.
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