Asking on behalf of a group of German volunteer and professional firefighters.
We had been employed by the government of a gulf country for 4-8 years and recently all were made redundant.
After having thrown lots of CVs we're now sure that private firefighting companies here won´t accept our German education (be it for professionals or volunteers) but require NFPA courses obligatory.
We checked some academies here in the gulf but found them to be awfully expensive (up to 20,000 $ only for the Firefighter 1 & 2).
On recommendation of a Filipino Professional Firefighter I know here, I checked South Africa and found an academy there which offers all courses up to and including Fire Officer 1 for a fraction of the costs here.
The academy is registered with the Southern African Emergency Services Institute (SAESI - http://www.saesi.com/) und thus all courses obtained there will be IFSAC certified.
As in the Gulf, we were offered to get our previous education and work experience recognized.
Doing that we could do the Firefighter 1 & Hazmat Awareness challenge plus the Firefighter 2 and Hazmat operations challenge, which means both packages will take only 1 week.
Fire instructor 1 and Fire Officer 1 cannot be challenged and will take 2 weeks each.
Our questions are now:
1.) Do you guys consider such approach reputable (location of the fire academy an ´challenging´ the courses)? Will this raise questions for prospective employers?
2.) Holding the above mentioned qualifications (German Professional Firefighter degree & German Paramedic degree / German volunteer firefighter + NFPA Firefighter 1&2, NFPA Hazmat Awareness, NFPA Hazmat Operations, NFPA Fire Instructor 1, NFPA Fire Officer 1), what kind of perspective would you see for us in general working in a professional fire department abroad?
3.) We noticed on the IFSAC webpage that the editions of the NFPA courses the SAESI was accredited for are rather old (most range between 2007-2010) – Will this be a disadvantage for us?
Thanks a lot in advance and best regards from the sandpit --