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just another kid looking for help.. Military Firefighter questions!

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  • just another kid looking for help.. Military Firefighter questions!

    Hello, I just recently graduated High School and am looking at joining the Military on a 4 year Enlisted contract and then come out and test with my dream full time fire department. I am looking into the Air Force as Firefighter but hear they can't guarantee anything but "a job", not any specific jobs. That's kind of a deal breaker for me, I want to get something I'll enjoy and nothing interests me in the AF but Fire Protection.
    I am also looking into the Army as a 68W Combat Medic, and maybe going to Ranger school to become a Ranger Medic. Army Firefighter is also an option but I hear they do absolutely nothing If anyone has an input/info on Army FF that would be greatly appreciated.
    And lastly I am looking in the USMC as a 7051 Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Specialist. I heard you can pick a Career Field and they can guarantee you a job out of that field. I really want FF and nothing else. I talked to a buddy of mine and he said you can sign up as a Reserve, go to basic and your FF training and once thats done you can switch to Active/Enlisted and thats how you can get a "guarantee." Is this true? And if it is, is it easy and are you able to switch from Reserve to Active and keep your MOS for sure?

    Thanks for all the help guys, I know us "kids" can get annoying on these forums, but you truly are helping us out by taking the time out of your day!
    Thanks a ton, anything helps!
    Last edited by FF173; 08-15-2010, 10:23 PM.

  • #2
    Read through all the posts on this space your question has been answered

    As far as when you get out there will be slot of people also wanting in at the same dream department


    Your service ff job will look good on paper jut more ten likely not help
    Suggest you look into what that dept and your state require to be a firefighter and start working on it
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

    Comment


    • #3
      My husband is an Army FF. They have 5 year contracts (21M). They certainly do something. Here at Fort Rucker you can work at either a stagefield (this is the flight school training base) and mostly run hard landings or percautionary landings or you can work at Flat Iron (what my husband does) as a crash rescue firefighter. In this position you fly around in a helicopter and respond to real crashes (he has been on 4) and also get to assist the civilian cities with hosptial transfers, search and rescue, vehicle crashes etc. They even flew the mayor around the city after we had a really bad tornado through here. There are opportunities so if its something you really want, push for it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Fella,
        If Fire Protection is what you are into, your best bet is going to be AF. I realize that they don't seem as hard core as the other branches, but the cost/benefit ratio far outweighs the ego trip.
        You are going to get more certs.
        You'll still deploy
        You'll get treated better
        You'll have better looking women to meet

        If the AF is to soft for you, look at the Marines. I still to this day can't understand why people join the Army.
        If you want to fight and be a Fire fighter join the Marines. They are always broke, but at least they are proud. Every Army guy i ever deployed with hated his job and his branch. Not to mention the Army guys get treated like absolute garbage wherever they go.

        Last i heard they are heavily reducing the Army FF billets anyways. Most (if not all) of the Army bases in Iraq/Afghan are manned by contract fire fighters and many of their bases are ran by Civvies.

        Just my 2 cents.

        Comment


        • #5
          True- the Army does not deploy their firefighters because they are considered neccessary to the mission at the post you would be stationed at. Now, if they do deploy you your not going as a firefighter. Civilians have taken the firefighter positions vs deploying Army firefighters.

          Comment


          • #6
            Alright thank you all for the information! I will continue to look into all the branches. I only wish the Active duty Marines could guarantee you and job and the Air Force could guarantee me a job, maybe they can I dont know I'll shop around recruiting offices and see!

            Thanks fellas

            Comment


            • #7
              YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE MARINE CFR!!!

              Its a horrible MOS, every duty station is undermanned and way over worked. I love the Corps, but i hated the bull**** that goes along with being CFR. Imagine spending 10-12 hours washing/cleaning/waxing one fire truck once a week to include degreasing the engine block and cleaning the inside of the exhaust... preventative maintenance is one thing, but cleaning to that extent is harmful to the truck and more importantly a waste of hours in your life you will never get back. Then you get to spend 12-15+ hours cleaning the station one day a week. Most of the Staff NCO's are latmovers who put their troops through things they never had to do themselves and laugh about it while they sit in their offices and watch tv all weekend while their troops work their asses off.
              Plus you have a 50/50 chance of getting station orders and never deploying and getting a break from that crap by going overseas. Other downside... due to understaffing there are times when you will be on "day on stay on" shift where everyone goes to work every day of the week then they send a few people home if manpower allows. Marine CFR is f**ked up, and not the way to go if you want to actually be a firefighter.

              Join the Air Force if you want legit fire fighting experience. You'll get way more opportunities to get certs, wont be treated like garbage, have better housing, and generally have a much easier 4 years. The Corps was the best decision I ever made, CFR was the worst. If i could change anything in my life i would have picked a different Occfield when i enlisted in the Corps. Or i would have joined a different service to do firefighting.

              A Marine recruiter will play up CFR a ton to a potential recruit, but they don't know the real CFR and dont let them dupe you into it.

              Comment


              • #8
                As much as I would like to disagree with ridebmxnc, I can't. His personal experiences in the ARFF community seem to be slightly worse than average, but I can't say he's far off. The biggest issue with those long hours is the lack of true emergencies. While we do not want our planes and pilots to crash, we prefer they do so in our presence and on our shift. That doesn't happen often.

                My advice has always been that becoming a MARINE is the important thing, MOS is second. You can do a search and you will see I have been telling people this for about 6 years here. If you are joining the service for the job training and GI bill, that's fine, but if that is the case the Marine Corps doesn't need you or want you. If firefighting is your reason to join the service, Air Force is the way to go.

                To enlist active duty USMC, you get a choice of career field, not MOS. The other 7000 MOS' are Expeditionary Airfield Tech (maintains arresting gear, lighting, and runways) or Airfield Operations Clerk (maintains flight records). What you get is likely a crapshoot, based on needs of the USMC.

                You can join the USMC Reserve and get guaranteed 7051 if you are qualified. You'll go to the same schools and get the same certs as active duty or the other services. However, the only units with 7051 billets in the USMCR are in Miramar, CA, Minneapolis, MN, and one is moving from PA to NJ. If you don't live near those you're out. The chances of augmenting from USMCR to active duty with the 7051 MOS are extremely slim, especially with the coming reductions in manpower.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kristmatt View Post
                  True- the Army does not deploy their firefighters because they are considered neccessary to the mission at the post you would be stationed at. Now, if they do deploy you your not going as a firefighter. Civilians have taken the firefighter positions vs deploying Army firefighters.
                  The army does deploy their firefighters my det. deployed to afghanistan with 4 other detachments and was replaced by five other detachments. If your part of a detachment then your changes of deploying are good if your attached to a ordinance unit your changes are even better to deploy and not doing your job. If your at Ft. Rucker you won't deploy. It just depends on which detachment you go to, certain det. work 9-5 5 days a week, some work just like the civilians, some just do the training with the department. it all depends what your NCO's relationship is with the Cheifs. Go Air Force you won't be put on the back burner, your get better training and more certs and deploy more but for 4-6 month tours, can't beat that.

                  Yes we did our job, firefighting in afghanistan there were contract ff in Kandahar, but we took over the smaller ramps where the attack choppers were and other detachments were sent to other FOBs where we did the same thing if there were no contractors we provided protection for the whole FOB or we worked with the other nations that were there.
                  Last edited by ascgrizz; 08-20-2010, 08:40 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kristmatt View Post
                    True- the Army does not deploy their firefighters because they are considered neccessary to the mission at the post you would be stationed at. Now, if they do deploy you your not going as a firefighter. Civilians have taken the firefighter positions vs deploying Army firefighters.
                    The Army does deploy their Firefighters. I am a firefighter currently deployed in Afghanistan along with 6 other dets under the same command. They are considered mission necessary out here as well. If a tent catches on fire who will put it out? If an UH 60 goes down who will provide rescue, and extinguish flames?
                    Now it is true that civilians ARE taking some FF roles overseas, heck here on base, the civilian is taking the structural side on main post, and we are taking the crash/structure out of main post.

                    If you want to go Military firefighter, I recommend going Army. They can guarantee you the dang job. It might take a few tries with the recruiter and MEPS but it will be worth it. Once you do your time for the Army switch over to the AF but keep your FF job. Seems to be what everyone has done, and will be doing once done with this deployment.

                    Its all what you make out of the situation you are put in. Keep your chin up and stick to your goals and it will be a great expierence for you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gunnyv View Post
                      As much as I would like to disagree with ridebmxnc, I can't. His personal experiences in the ARFF community seem to be slightly worse than average, but I can't say he's far off. The biggest issue with those long hours is the lack of true emergencies. While we do not want our planes and pilots to crash, we prefer they do so in our presence and on our shift. That doesn't happen often.

                      My advice has always been that becoming a MARINE is the important thing, MOS is second. You can do a search and you will see I have been telling people this for about 6 years here. If you are joining the service for the job training and GI bill, that's fine, but if that is the case the Marine Corps doesn't need you or want you. If firefighting is your reason to join the service, Air Force is the way to go.

                      To enlist active duty USMC, you get a choice of career field, not MOS. The other 7000 MOS' are Expeditionary Airfield Tech (maintains arresting gear, lighting, and runways) or Airfield Operations Clerk (maintains flight records). What you get is likely a crapshoot, based on needs of the USMC.

                      You can join the USMC Reserve and get guaranteed 7051 if you are qualified. You'll go to the same schools and get the same certs as active duty or the other services. However, the only units with 7051 billets in the USMCR are in Miramar, CA, Minneapolis, MN, and one is moving from PA to NJ. If you don't live near those you're out. The chances of augmenting from USMCR to active duty with the 7051 MOS are extremely slim, especially with the coming reductions in manpower.
                      dont get me wrong gunny, i loved the Corps. Best 4 years of my life, but i wished every single day i would have gone ground side, and kept the firefighting for now that i'm a civillian. like you said becoming a Marine was the important part. had i not gotten injured my last year and been essentially forced out before a medboard (long story, but it worked out for the better because it kept me able to reup should i choose to later) i would have reupped and latmoved for sure. hell, i had my DI package on the CO's desk waiting for my interview that was scheduled for two days after i got hurt.

                      theres a reason CFR has a horrible retention rate for first term Marines, and a huge amount of latmovers in their second and third terms. you would think that somebody would pick up on that, and do some investigating... just my 2 cents though.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ridebmxnc View Post
                        d
                        theres a reason CFR has a horrible retention rate for first term Marines, and a huge amount of latmovers in their second and third terms. you would think that somebody would pick up on that, and do some investigating... just my 2 cents though.
                        I know what you mean-if I had been in this MOS for any length of time on active duty as an E1-E4 I don't think I would have liked it much.

                        We just discussed the issue of lat movers at the ARFF portion of the DoD fire conference. Not much you can do to keep guys in the Corps when they can get a DoD GS fire job or a contract gig a week after leaving AD. But the games don't help, and getting shut out of your MOS and used as convoy fodder while deployed is a big negative to many of the Marines as well.

                        The attitudes are changing, it just takes a while. Get this-the new CWO5 went out of his way at the conference to mention that the bottom of trucks are supposed to be dirty, not pressure washed till the grease is gone. Based on the reaction in the room, I'd say most of those who ever thought that was a good idea have moved on. We even got money in the hopper to replace all the P-19s within the next few years. So, there is hope for the future.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gunnyv View Post
                          We just discussed the issue of lat movers at the ARFF portion of the DoD fire conference. Not much you can do to keep guys in the Corps when they can get a DoD GS fire job or a contract gig a week after leaving AD. But the games don't help, and getting shut out of your MOS and used as convoy fodder while deployed is a big negative to many of the Marines as well.
                          i'll have to agree to disagree there. and to quote a long standing tradition "good Marines get out"... so many awesome Marines i worked with left the Corps because CFR treated them so badly, and then the ****bags are the ones to stay (the guys with multiple dui's, barely picked up Cpl in an enlistment, the list goes on... but essentially boils down to being to incompetent to become a real firefighter or hold a decent job in the real world). its a perpetual circle of losing the Marines that need to stay and keeping the ****bags that force the good Marines out by treating them so badly.

                          not to toot my own horn, but i was a hell of a Marine in my day and to be honest, had life not been so horrible at work AND at the barracks, i would have re-upped in a heart beat. i wanted to do 20 from the age of 10, it was never about the money for me, it was about service. and btw being cannon fodder was the best part of my enlistment ;-p

                          if the SNCO's did more to make their Marines lives better then more would stick around. there was a saying when i was in "we're all the way across the airfield and no one can hear us scream". it may be better now, but when i was still in the SNCO's and Sergeants pretty much did as they pleased with us. theres a difference between discipline, and playing games for their amusement and that line blurred regularly.

                          btw, this isnt coming from a disgruntled troop. i made cpl in 2 years, and would have made sgt had it not been for the 100 cutting score points for reupping deal Gen Conway enacted during the big recruiting siege in 07-08.

                          Originally posted by gunnyv View Post
                          The attitudes are changing, it just takes a while. Get this-the new CWO5 went out of his way at the conference to mention that the bottom of trucks are supposed to be dirty, not pressure washed till the grease is gone. Based on the reaction in the room, I'd say most of those who ever thought that was a good idea have moved on. We even got money in the hopper to replace all the P-19s within the next few years. So, there is hope for the future.
                          its really good to hear that somebody out there is taking notice of the problems in our MOS, and doing things to change it. maybe things will get turned around and i'll come back one day, cuz god knows i loved the real work we did. its just unfortunate that most of this info never makes it to the troops. i mean, i didnt even know there was a dod fire conference until after i got out.

                          thanks for being a good Marine gunny, and realizing the Corps has its faults. its a breath of fresh air! Semper Fi!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If thinking about the Marines with a way into the fire service after your enlistment, you should consider the Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Field, 5711. Today's fire service requires HazMat knowledge and you WILL get that in spades as a 5711. 5711's are also Emergency Management specialist and know how to run an Emergency Operations Center, these are skills that every fire department in the country is looking for. While not a direct line to a fire department, it is better than becoming an MP and you get to use your gray matter along with your muscles.

                            Semper Fi!
                            Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
                            -Big Russ

                            Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

                            Originally posted by nyckftbl
                            LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
                              If thinking about the Marines with a way into the fire service after your enlistment, you should consider the Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Field, 5711. Today's fire service requires HazMat knowledge and you WILL get that in spades as a 5711. 5711's are also Emergency Management specialist and know how to run an Emergency Operations Center, these are skills that every fire department in the country is looking for. While not a direct line to a fire department, it is better than becoming an MP and you get to use your gray matter along with your muscles.

                              Semper Fi!
                              Dennis, being a 5711 at the Chem/Bio Incident Response Force (CBIRF-for the kids, g--gle it) would definitely put them on a good track. However, just about every other 5711 (95% of them) spends most of his time in the unit training office entering PFT and rifle range scores when they are not running a mask confidence chamber or acting as a MCMAP instructor. Most of the ones I've know hate their MOS and would rather have been cooks.

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