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  • Rockford Fire Dept

    Anyone out here work for the Rockford Fire Dept?

    I'm wondering why their pay band for new people is so low compared to DeKalb or other surrounding towns. I'm thinking about applying for a position in Rockford, but was suprised to see the low pay band. 30 miles away & a much smaller community starts at almost 10,000 more for the 1st yr.

    Is there something bad about the RFD?

    Thanks -
    AT

  • #2
    I don't work for them, but I am on their border.
    I couldn't tell you why their pay is lower, but I can tell you they are a good fire department. I have worked with them on several occasions and they are very good at what they do, and the guys I know are very happy with their jobs, and pay.

    But 30 miles away? Do you live in Winnebago County? I believe you have to live in Winnebago to get hired. I could be wrong
    Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

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    • #3
      Don't live there right now, but am looking to relocate to the area. I have a lot of family in Rockford & DeKalb. I currently live in Round Lake, IL.

      I know RFD is hiring & am considering applying. I know in DeKalb they start at 39K a yr where Rockford starts at 29k. I just found that odd for such a large city (2nd largest in the state).

      It's good to know they men are happy there. I am going to Rockford next week to see my sister - maybe I'll stop by the firehouse and check it out.
      Thanks -
      BigAT

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      • #4
        Why don't you work for Round Lake they are busy and seem like a good dept. I stopped in at their station 2 on a gold shift and had some very nice people there.

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        • #5
          I've been thinking about that. One reason RFD is of interest is because: 1) they are hiring "trainees" right now & RLFD isn't hiring FT or POC at this time. 2) We have family there and we'd like to get closer to them 3) Cost of living in Rockford is a lot less than out here.

          I'm kinda stuck as what I should do. This would be a total career change for me. Not sure if I should go w/ RFD who is hiring "trainees' or go someplace as a POC to get experience. Any suggestions?

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          • #6
            I would recommend going to the city of Rockford's website.
            It will tell you what the requirements are.

            I have seen it many times on here. Apply for several differant dept.s

            Oh yeah, they are the 3rd largest now. Aurora has beaten them.
            Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

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            • #7
              I have looked at the RFD website and it looks like I could qualify.

              Are Fire Depts ranked? I know regular buisnesses will often get ranked as, "top 100 best companies to work for" ect.... Is there anything like that for FD's? Just wondering.

              I am going to Rockford this week and will pick up an application there. I'll also take your advice and submit an application at RlFD.

              Thanks for everything!

              Big AT

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              • #8
                I'm about 11 miles from DeKalb and have a number of friends there. I know that those guys routinely get their butts kicked. Their shift staff is about 10, with call backs for busy times. For a town of 30,000, with a seasonal population (NIU) of around 80,000, that sure doesn't seem like enough to me. I'm not saying that Rockford's guys don't earn their money, but the DeKalb guys are running all the time. So maybe they've got a better CBA.

                Anyway, test everywhere. When you get hired, if you aren't happy, keep testing. I've talking to some guys who've done this, and they said subsequent interviews, after they were already on the job, went MUCH easier. I suppose it's a case of interviewers saying, "Well, if he was good enough for Hooterville, he oughta do just fine here...."
                Omnis Cedo Domus

                www.hinckleyfd.org

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                • #9
                  I think Rockford just tested this last fall for their 2 year list. I could be wrong though, it has happened before. I have to agree with jay, test everywhere you can and get the experience. Don't limit yourself.
                  IACOJ, Flatlander Division

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                  • #10
                    The payscale indicated for Rockford is probably the probationary pay. After probation (12-18 months), the salary jumps about $4K I think.

                    RFD is the 2nd or 3rd largest FD in IL. That means there is room for advancement. Consider that a small city FD might have only 1 or 2 LTs per shift, and then you see how you might be stuck at FF pay for 15 or 20 years.
                    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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                    • #11
                      I am not sure if all departments are like this,
                      but in Rockford I believe you must become a Paramedic in 2 years or you are gone. You may want to look into it more.
                      Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

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                      • #12
                        Old thread, but I'll chime in. Rockford's pay scale is pretty aggressive and will put you in good money fairly quickly.

                        Your first six months are at $29,708
                        Six months to your first year you make $34,543

                        Look here if you really care...
                        Pay Scale

                        Rockford took a serious hit with their budget, some of their staffing took a dive and they froze hiring. I believe at one time, all engine and truck companies were staffed with four, with the exception of the engines (1 & 2) sharing quarters with a truck company, in that case they ran with three. The quints were five man crews. I'm not sure the quints have this luxury anymore. They just recently gave the nod to the folks on their last list, almost as it was expiring. The mayor also just pushed a bond issue through where they'll get four new engines and two new ambulances. They need the rigs, there are still some Ford C's running around that are getting a bit long in the tooth. Don't get me wrong, they get the job done.

                        Overall, no department is perfect, but a lot of Rockford's folks do a lot to support the training and education of the local volunteer crews. My district intertwines with much of Rockford's city limits, so we interact a bit. We always seem to get along pretty well, especially when dispatched to the same address.

                        They also require you get a paramedic cert after hire, but I think they're so far behind right now on getting their people through that it's well beyond two years for the new guys to get it. Once you do, I believe you're assigned to an ambulance, where you'll work twelve on the ambulance then twelve on the rig it shares quarters with every shift, until you're senior enough to bump off the ambulance (if you desire).

                        I don't know it all, my info could be inaccurate, and no, I'm not on Rockford.

                        -Joel
                        Last edited by npfd801; 03-21-2004, 12:28 AM.
                        "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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                        • #13
                          I am also looking for fire depts that are hiring! I am a IL Certified FFII and Paramedic. I have been working for a Paramedic Ambulance for 7 years now, and volunteer firefighter for 4 years. Any info would be great! Thanks everyone
                          Lilyogi

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                          • #14
                            This is the only one I know of testing right now.I hope this helps
                            Joliet Fire Dept.-
                            Applications are available Aug. 1, 2004 thru Sept. 3, 2004
                            The phone number is (815) 724-4020

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