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Questions about Gen. KS Firefighting

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  • Questions about Gen. KS Firefighting

    Hey Guys,

    Im currently a Junior in high school, as well as a cadet firefighter with my local volunteer dept. I love volunteer firefighting, and wouldnt give it up for the world, which is why Im considering moving to Kansas after I finish college. but before I jump into something I know nothing about, I figured this would be the best place for some answers. Ok, here we go.

    1. What's the scoop with Wichita Fire Department? how hard is it to get in? what do they look for in recruits? how long is the hiring process? Anyone with any experience/knowledge with WFD would be a big help.

    2. As mentioned prior, I dont want to give up running Volunteer. So, what are the light/siren laws for POVs in Kansas? anything special I should know? Also, are there any laws/restrictions on mobile based fire radios in POVs in KS? does anyone know of light dealers/installers in the Wichita Metro/Rose Hill area?

    3. Not quite fire-related, but does anyone know how to get involved in SKYWARN in KS? And light laws for storm chasers?

    kind of a lot of questions to ask, and Im sure there will be more to come in the future. any help, anything at all, is helpful and greatly appreciated. Im just a kid whos just starting to get his feet wet, and Im trying to think about my future. I dont want to be one of thos typical college kids who have no idea what their going to do after college.

    Thank You!

  • #2
    sure worried about them lights? Maybe you ought to look into an emergency light sales job.

    It is not a good idea to try to hire onto one department, best to test everywhere and any where.

    so what is your goal once you get done with college, what is your major?


    • #3
      I work in the Wichita metro, wfd is a good department, but if your lookin into kansas there are many other good departments in the state. Are u set on just the Wichita area? If not there are about a dozen departments in kc metro on the kansas side, including what I think is probably the best fd in the state, kckfd . Like the previous guy said apply everywhere to get your foot in the door. Also tei options to look into if your dead set on being a firefighter is joining the military and becoming a firefighter, and or keep on your volly department and go through paramedic school, both of these give u huge leg up in the competitive hiring processes of fire departments. Anyway, I don't work for wfd, but like I said, I work in the area and can tell u about their hiring process, pm me if u want and ill help with anything I can


      • #4
        @fire49- hey thanks man. Im gonna major in General Fire Science (Bachelors Degree), and minoring in my paramedic license.

        @AirforcefireAir- hey thanks man! any help is really helpful. and im not really dead set on wichita, but the idea of paramedic squads has really caught my attention. i dont want to work on an fire dept ambulance, i wouldnt really mind an paramedic engine or quint, but the paramedic squad has really caught my eye. Los Angeles County Fire runs paramedic squads, and i was 100000% dead set on them for years, but the idea of living in the country, which is where i live now, and i dont want to give that up to move to a big city setting. and it would seem, since WFD is considerably smaller than LACOFD, that it would be easier to get in. and volley depts are more prominent in KS than in CA, so thats my reasoning.


        • #5
          Alright man I respect your opinion. The reason I initially went through paramedic school myself was to end up on a fire truck, squad, pumper, or quint as a fire medic. If you found a school that you can get a four year FS degree while also receiving a paramedic license then congrats to you. That sounds like an awesome plan and will for sure give you a leg up on the competition to get on any kansas fire department. I've never heard of a program like that in the midwest, but like i said, if you can do it in cali then that's great! In the state of kansas paramedic school is a 2 year degree program, thought they do have 12 month paramedic programs, however you have to have a two year degree to be allowed to take the national registry exam to certify (in kansas). I'm not real familiar with how the west cost departments are run but I can tell you from working on a fire department in the midwest for almost 6 years now that 75% of all calls you will go on are medical. With that said I believe that as an aspiring career firefighter you should look to learn and achieve the highest training possible in the medical field--being a paramedic. Now I know you said you don't want to work on a fire department ambulance. However being that your looking to go into a career field that involves at least 75% medical calls, working on an ambulance will only help you become the best medically trained firefighter you can be. Now I know you dont want to spend your career on an ambulance and trust me I don't blame you, but I think you should consider the benefits of working on a cross trained FIRE/EMS organization as well, as there are plenty that allow you to do time on both ambulances and fire trucks. But one thing to keep in mind while going through your paramedic program is to NOT have the mind set that you are just doing this to get a fire department job so you can ride on cool fire trucks to save babies from fires and so on. Keep your mind focused on being the best paramedic you can be even if it involves learning boring stuff like human anatomy and physiology. This is the only way your going to make it through school and pass the national registry as it is an intense and fast past program. In my earlier post I mentioned kckfd (kansas city ks fire department). They are a FIRE/EMS department and I believe they are even bigger than WFD as far as manning goes, though WFD has a few more actual stations. From my understanding they (KCKFD) are one of the few departments in the nation that runs cross trained medics on almost all their fire trucks. Not to mention their fire medic pay is on the top end for midwest firefighters. Also, last I heard WFD had only one station that they were running paramedics on trucks or squads and they are only equipped with SOME ALS equipment. I believe their scope of practice is actually more on the AEMT level than paramedic. Sedgwick county EMS runs the ambulance service in the city of wichita. Also, last I knew WFD's fire medics get something like an extra 25 dollers a pay check for being a paramedic. Which I'm sure is frustrating for them considering the time and dedication paramedic school takes. Don't take this as me trash talking WFD, they are a good department and have a lot of stations that are good working fire stations with a fair number of house fires. Also, though it's definitely not easy getting on a good kansas fire department such as wichita, I'm sure the number of competition isn't nearly as tough as LA county. You have to have a CPAT and take some FireTeam test (all pretty easy) that lands you on a list which i believe is ranked on your education and training. Then they pull from that list for interviews. As I'm sure you know the interview is the toughest part of getting on any department so it's never to early to start practicing up for it . Anyway, I hope some of this rambling may have given you some things to possibly consider. Either way, good luck with the future broski.


          • #6
            hey thanks man, i really appreciate it. gave me a lot of food for thought and a lot of stuff to consider. i really appreciate it man!


            • #7
              I would avoid the Wichita Fire Department all together. They are the biggest department in Kansas, but that doesn't mean they are the best. Many in the state of Kansas consider Kansas City Kansas Fire Department the best in the state. They pay better then any department in the state. KCK runs the ambulance service for their city and the county and also cross man their fire apparatus with at least one paramedic on each one. KCK fire rotates their firefighters on the ambulance and fire trucks, even the EMT and paramedics. My advice would be apply for other departments especially KCK, Lawrence Fire/Medical and any department in Johnson County.


              • #8
                I am not going to get into what department is best, like anywhere else there are some amazing departments in KS, and some not so amazing.

                What I will say - is LOSE THE FASCINATION WITH LIGHTS.

                If you have them on your vehicle now, take them off before you move. I know, I know, what happens if you get on a department real fast. Put them back on then. "Can't I just leave them on there and not turn them on?" No, #1 it is illegal in most states, #2, you will get quickly known and targeted as a wacker.

                or my favorite, what happens if I come across a wreck... You don't need lights at a wreck, even more so if you are not on a department.


                • #9
                  I'm going to come out and say that I think Wichita Fire is possibly one of the worst in the state of Kansas.


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