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  • New Member: Ready to join a team!

    I will tell you a little bit about myself following some questions that I have trying to get my ducks in a row. I live in Tampa, FL and I am currently undergoing the process of becoming a Firefighter. I am 23 years old and attending college part time, as I have a full time job. I am currently working on my EMT, soon to graduate from that on to Paramedic, then to the Firefighting academy.

    I am a true outdoors man, I spend 90% of my time outdoors and on the ocean doing special activites. I am an avid fisherman, I freediving spearfish, bowhunt. I am also athletic and spend a lot of my time in the gym or on the the racquet ball courts. I am constantly improving my cardio with high endurance and long distance runs. Not that any of this really pertains to firefighting other than the background of myself.

    Where I want to be: After I graduate the Fire Academy, I will most likely be moving to South Florida. My main career goal is to be on a Search and Rescue Dive Team, or a Fire Boat down in S. Florida. Some questions that I have is, how do I find out what cities/departments have a Dive team/Fire Rescue boat? Also, I am currently Scuba certified for open water. I have scheduled myself for advanced Scuba courses starting in two weeks. I plan on eventually becoming a Dive Master with all the bells and whistles. However, will this have any effect on my resume' or hiring process? The ocean is what I grew up on, the ocean is what I spend most of my time on, and the ocean is what I want to be involved with for the rest of my life. Any information regarding the Fire boats or Search and Rescue dive teams would be greatly appreciated. I have tried doing research, made phone calls, and have come up short thus far. I am hoping this forum can help lead me on my journey to success.

    The reason I came to the forums is so that I could ask everyday people like myself of their opinions/advice/experience, rather than speaking with a secretary or departments waiting for phone calls back, etc. I hope that I have came to the right place.

    If you prefer to contact me via e-mail, please feel free: [email protected].

    Thank you,
    With safe greetings,
    Last edited by Jeremy2792; 03-14-2011, 04:48 PM.

  • #2
    Dive teams come in many different forms.

    Single dire operating it's own team.
    Multiple fire department's operating regional team.
    Sheriff's department team.
    EMS/Rescue team.
    Multiple discipline combined municipal teams.
    Multiple discipline combined regional teams.

    One thing that is likely common with all of them is the fact that you will likely have to put some time on the line in before you will be considered to join the dive team or be assigned to a fireboat as it is a specialist assignment.

    I would suspect that most of the departments in South Florida that operate dive teams or boats are career departments.

    Our department, which is primarily volunteer combo, combines with 2 other departments in our area, which are also combo, to operate a speciality rescue team which includes dive. I know of many all-volunteer departments in the northeast that operate both dive, ice, surface and swiftwater rescue teams.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.


    • #3
      Their are a lot of 3rd service water rescue organizations around the country. I personally would become a professional lifeguard while you are going toward your goals. Many Lifeguard agencies have divers and also do swift water / flood rescue work. If you have never guarded, an ocean guard is one of the most physically challenging jobs you can have.
      I've been on a regional water rescue team for about 20 years and my team is made up of members from our paid and volunteer fire departments. We are in Northern Illinois and have no means to accept rescuers from outside our member departments.
      Their are a lot of systems out there. Look around and seriously consider an ocean lifeguard position. I think you might like it.
      http://www.usla.org/default.asp? has info on guarding and physical requirements

      Good Luck


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