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Military and firefighting

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  • Military and firefighting

    I saw where the armed forces have firefighting as a job. I'd talked to the Navy about their fire/emt training. Sounds really good and I imagine the training is excellent. I wanted to ask others here if they were in the military as firefighters? I'm curious if the training in say the Navy will transfer into a civilian department. Just wanted to ask and see what others here might know.

    It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.

  • #2
    I just enlisted in the Navy in August, and I ship at the end of April. I'll tell you what i can form my experience in the enlistment process. I talked with my recruiter about firefighting in the Navy. The first thing he said is that everyone is a firefighter. It's a required part of basic training. If you want to persue it further your best bet for a job is damage control. However, the DC field is very hard to get into as the openings for a school fill very quickly. Your other option is to go into another rate such as hull technician or welder and hope that when there is an opeining in the fireman apprenticeship program you are accepted. When I was classified at MEPS there were no openings in DC and I really didn't want to be a welder, no offense to any here. After that I decided to look into being a Corpman. And here I am. I was guaranteed my job and hopefully after I'm out I'll be able to get a good job in EMS and/or fire. Also found out that you can get national registery through the military for EMT and other levels. If you have anymore questions e-mail me at

    Hope this helps.

    Stay safe


    • #3
      Thanks for the info. I'll see what the recruiter has to say before I decide anything.

      Thanks again,
      It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.


      • #4
        All the services offer some type of fire fighter specialty. I was an active duty fire fighter in the Air Force, then transfered into the Air National Guard. OVer the last 8-10 years, the DOD has made a big push to certifications for is't fire fighters. Now when a trainee leaves Tech School, they are IFSAC certified to FF I, FF II, ARFF, and Haz Mat A/O levels. These certifications are eligible for reciprocity with Pro Board, which may or may not help with getting a civilian job as a fire fighter.

        As far as getting a slot as a fire fighter, I was able to (many years ago) get a guaranteed job when I signe up. I don't know if this is still possible, but I do know that the Air Force is hurting for fire fighters right now. And if you aren't ready for the full time commitment, look into the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. Same schools, same certifications, part-time job.

        Good luck!
        Capt. K


        • #5
          I have talked to a recruter in the army a couple times and he told me that Firefighting in the Military expecially the Army is disapatting, there leaving it up to the civilian Departments.

          I.A.C.O.J. Probie

          You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

          Lets not forget those lost on 9-11-01


          • #6
            Search and you will find...

            Here are just a few threads I found by searching for "military fire"...





            Fire service survival tips:
            1) Cook at 350...
            2) Pump at 150...
            3) When in doubt, isolate and deny entry...
            4) When in trouble, claim lack of adult supervision.


            • #7
              Thanks guys for the info. I was wondering if I could get into the AF, but I turned 30 and think that I'm too old.

              It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.


              • #8
                Originally posted by backdraft663
                I have talked to a recruter in the army a couple times and he told me that Firefighting in the Military expecially the Army is disapatting, there leaving it up to the civilian Departments.
                I was told the same thing, so must be correct.
                It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.


                • #9

                  All branches have Fire protection jobs, the school for the Air force, marines and army is at Goodfellow airforce base in Texas. When you finish the Air Force Fire protection caqrrer field courses you will have an Associates degree in Fire science plus the added benefit that all of thier courses are certified by IFSAC.

                  SSgt. Thomas Smith
                  Fire Protection Specialist


                  • #10
                    Last time I checked, the cut off age for first term enlistment is 36! We just had a first timer enlist and go to fire school @ age 35 to be in our Air Guard Unit. (Sidebar: He said the reason he enlisted was becasue of the Sept. 11th attacks and he wanted to do something for his country - I find that pretty commendable).
                    Capt. K


                    • #11
                      The Air National Guard age cut off is going around 35ish right now. I just went through the DOD fire academy over the summer and there are some fairly old guys going through...old being over 30 as compared to mostly 19-23 yr olds.
                      You do get good training overall, there were a lot of things tought to me there that I don't agree with and I'm sure many of you wouldn't agree with necesarily either. Just different ways of thinking. Doesn't necesarily mean anything is wrong with it.
                      As I said, it's a DOD fire academy, you train with Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard. It's primarily Air Force though.
                      Last edited by FORTff; 10-13-2003, 09:34 AM.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rocket455

                        I was told the same thing, so must be correct.
                        Being in the Federal Fire Service as a civilian, I might be able to give some ideas on this.

                        1. Air Force, about 50/50 Military and Civilian, would probably go 100 Military but then when they deploy, nothing left to guard the base they just left.

                        2. Navy, everyone is a firefighter, wrong, everyone is a sailor that happens to also do firefighting and the closest specialty is Damage Controlman.

                        3. Army, Basicly all Civilian with few exceptions

                        4 Marines, Structural Firefighter are mostly civilian, Airfield firefighters in some places are mostly military, if they deploy, they take their aircraft with them so no need for airfield FF back at the station.

                        5. Coast Guard on station Civilian, on vessel, same as navy.

                        If you want to join the Military as a firefighter, your best bet would be Air Force, you also get the most travel opportunities as a Firefighter AND by far the most training (they run the Fire Academy for the Dept of Defense.

                        (None of the above is 100% accurate, each base can be different, even in the same branch.

                        Hope that helps..


                        • #13
                          Well I am a Damage Controlman (DC) in the NAVY. I am also certified FF. and EMT. I will Say that the over all experience is wonderful . There is another ratings that does FF. that is aviation boatswain's mate They are the crash and smash on aircraft carriers. The DC's are Crash and smash for small ships like destroyers. The Damage Control Rate and their sister Ratting Hull Tech. are The ships Fire department or flying squad. Also through a apprentice program you can get certified as FF. in any industry through the Dept of labor. on board a ship DC's work on firefighting systems, Train shipboard personnel in Damage control, shipboard stability. As a damage Controlman WE had a chance to gone on foreign ship that was in distress to assist in combating a fire on board . The navy has been investing alot in the fields of CBR- Defense and improving and updating a lot the fire fighting equipment if you want to know more email me at


                          • #14
                            If you want the real scoop on what's going on in the Army world of firefighting, drop me a line. I have a thread titled "Baghdad Intl Fire/Rescue" if you want to check that out. Most of what was said in the other replies is true. If you want active duty, Air Force is the way to go. Reserves and National guard in the Army has firefighters, and a limited number of Army posts still have military firefighters. I know of a few, if you want to know where they are, get in touch with me. If you want to go Army, don't take no for an answer, tell them that's the only thing you're interested in, and if they don't give it to you, you won't enlist. They'll change their tune pretty quick. In the meantime, stay safe, and happy hunting!

                            "At one point we decided to fight fire with fire, basically your house just burned faster."

                            Recipient of the IACOJ Service Award 2003.


                            • #15
                              I am a Gunnery Sgt in charge of the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting section of a Marine reserve unit. I am also a full time civilian firefighter. The base I drill at has military firefighters from the Air Nat'l Guard, Air Force Reserve, and Marine Reserve. Army Nat'l Guard has firefighting units as well. I have to say though, the Air Force has the best firefighting equipment, training, and working conditions.

                              All military (active and reserve)firefighters attend the DoD fire Academy at Goodfellow AFB in TX. It is about 3 months long, and includes Firefighter 1 & 2, Hazmat, and Aircraft firefighting. Those certificates can get you a job in MOST states. Check the IFSAC or NPQ websites for which states have reciprocity.

                              As an example, some of our Marines have joined the Corps, spent 4-5 months at boot camp and infantry training, then 3 months at the fire school. Air Force boot camp is about 2 months less. They then come home, drill one weekend a month, and go to school. Of the 8 in my unit who are not already career firefighters, 5 are taking paramedic or EMT classes. 3 are volunteer firefighters.

                              Of course, you may be called to active duty to serve your country in return for all this training. My unit just returned from a 8 month deployment. But that experience will be just as valuable to your prospective employers as your fire training.
                              Good luck


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