well i hope this is the right section, if its not im really sorry

im about to become a senior and i have wanted to be a firefighter my whole life. after the upcoming football season is over, im going to get into the fire explorers program so i can get some experience and after that go to the fire academy........at least that way my plan for the past 3 years untill now.

i live in CA and i just saw on the news how they fired like 700 firefighters in the state and that drastically made me worried about my future. that makes me think that my chances of getting hired are very slim. i really don't care if i move anywhere in the U.S just as long as i get to be a firefighter but with the tight budget i dont think theres any states that are hot to hire. so then it came to me....i thought to myself i would become a wildland firefighter. but then i poked around the internet and noticed they dont make that much at all(i think it was like 30-40k) but im cool with that because as long as i can pay my bills thats all i ask for. but then i also saw how most apply for "seasons"............why is that? can you be a professional wildland firefighter all year long or do you only come in when there are fire seasons? also if i do wildland firefighting, wont that boost my chances of getting hired at the local city stations? another question i got is how does the volunteer program work? is it the same as professional where u stay the at the station 24hours and then go home? and do you need to graduate from the fire academy to do this?

another question is....What is Industrial firefighting? I always thought there were only 2 kinds which were the local and wildland, untill i started to notice Industrial? do they have their own stations and stuff and are they just as hard to get into?

and last but not least....Will the fire academy give me all my certifications i need to get hired or do i need to go somewhere else after that?

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I don't know if I can answer all your questions, but I'll try.

I would advise you to try to get on with a municipality. In Texas, a city over 200,000 population, have to keep a paid fire service. This allows Texas cities to plan and expand for possible growth. I am not sure about how the rest of the nation works.

I would also advise you to volunteer somewhere while you are going through a fire academy. You will learn the "real world" knowledge as well as the "book" knowledge. It also looks good on a resume when you start applying at paid departments. The volunteers in this area respond from home to the station and then go on the call. Most do not have bunks or living quarters. And you do not have to have any training to begin as a volunteer in this area.

As far as Wildland firefighting, I don't know much about that. The most I have ever delt with Wildland are pastures here in West Texas.

Industrial firefighting is just what it sounds like. Places like oil refineries, nuclear facilities, and chemical plant hire full time fire brigades. They do this so because of the possibility of something catastrophic happening on site.

Most fire academies will give you the certifications you need to work most places. Just make sure you get IFSACS or PROBOARD seals on your certifications. Those seals are nationally recognized for the most part.

I hope that helped and good luck with your ventures.

I think that firehouse.com has a list of job openings and who is hiring in the fire service.
Wildland fire fighting. Those guys are tough. Glad someone wants to do it. Don't know much about what you
have to do to get a job in that field.
Industrical, I don't know anything about that field, I would guess the best way to land a job in that field is to get a degree in fire science.
If you want to go to college, check with the fire dept. that covers that college. College Park, MD. has fire science students living at the station (or I should say they did in the 70's). Alpha Fire Co. in State College, PA. (covers Penn State U.) lets PSU students join, they have even build a new station with the students in mind. They do require a member to get PROBOARD certified to the level of Firefighter 1 within a year of joining. I have seen ads for the Lancaster, Pa area for live in vollies. Being a volly may or may not help you land a paid
job. I have heard that some departments don't like to hire people with volly experience, on the other hand I know a guy that vollied at my company and landed a job in MD. Just find some kind of work, join a volly company while you look for a paid department to apply to. I ran with Neversink Fire Co. (Engine 3) (Reading, Pa.) in the 70's. It was a volly company with paid drivers. The other vollies told me to get a paid job as a driver, I didn't listen to them. I wish that I would have, I could be retired now. I don't know if I helped you or not. I can say it is not easy to get a paid fire fighting job and a lot of people apply for jobs. Just don't give up and good luck.
thx fellas for the help, any further help is also greatly appreciated.

for anyone who has experienced,seen, or heard of this, can someone tell me why the wildland firefighter job is much harder than city?
I think they both pretty well covered it. but in my opinion wildland is harder because you have to "Chase" the fire. fires arent contained in a house or minor brush it involves 100's to 1000's of acres.

If you have anyfurther questions email me and i will try to answer them
another question i got is, what are the positions in firefighting?

for example, when a crew is out on a call what roles does each member have? and when they get to an accident how do they know what to do. example: you arrive at a freeway with a car flipped over and the cops are blocking traffic, whats your job?
These are things that very by dept. you will learn as you move on
if you want to bwcome a wildland firefighter that is a whole diffrent schooling that you have to take just call a state park and they can put you in touch with the right people when your done with school then you test for wildlnd firefighting its a 3 mile hike with i beleave 45 lbs on your back and you have i think an hour to do it in good luck hope you make it
If you plan on staying in CA you are probably at least 5 years from even being considered for employment as a FF. The days of being hired before 21 are long gone. By that time, the current economical situation should be over.
Your best bet for employment is to become a paramedic and then apply. The majority of the dept. here haven't hired a FF in years. They have however hired PM and trained them into FF/PM.
about how much less do wildland firefighters make? and do they also require a paramedics degree?
thx dude.

and thank you all for the answers
Very well said Cody, along with some very good information brother.
Hmmm... I'll try to answer as many as I can. I'm kinda in the same boat as you, just a few years ahead. After high school, I got on a volunteer dept. Our dept. has a bunk room and all the ammenites for a full duty crew, however; we choose to respond from home when we get a call. FF's are welcome to stay in the bunkroom anytime they want. There are all volunteer dept's that run "dedicated shifts." That basically means their house is staffed by at least two ff's at all times.

Yeah, alot of FF's just got laid off; however, its not just ff's. The way the economy is, there are alot of people getting laid off. Times will get better and job growth will improve. Hey, people will always need ff's.

Volunteering is a great way to gain the "real world" experience that people are talking about. You can only learn so much from a book about fighting fire. You really have to just get in there and do it. As far as requirements for the volunteer house, mine only requires you are out of school and over 18. You also have to pass a PT test. As far as training, my dept. requires you obtain the state certification of basic ff before responding to calls. Its about a two month class, at least in Indiana.

As far as wildland firefighting goes, I dont have much experience in large scale wildland firefighting. I've taken a few classes on it but the biggest wildland fire I've been two was about two acres.

Industrial firefighting is exactly what it sounds like. Steel Mills, Power plants, Oil refinerys, etc. usually have an on scene permanent fire department. These large facilties often have small fires on a weekly basis with the potential for a very large, very dangerous fire at any moment. An industrial firefighter is a person who is housed at one of those facilities.

Hmmm... think I got em all... One more piece of advice.... The future of the fire service is EMS. Almost all full time departments now are only hiring people with at least an EMT certification. A paramedic cert is even better. Look around your community and try and find an EMT-B class to get into. Not only will it help you get hired but you will be a much bigger asset to your volunteer dept.

Mmmm... just saw your question about ranks...

Most dept's work on a basic system. Chief, Asst. Chief, ( there may be division or batallion chiefs), captain's, lieutenants, safety officers, senior ff's, ff's. As far as jobs go... that vary's greatly depending on what type of job you are doing. Genreally, ff's try and keep things simple. By this I mean, you jump off the rig, your officer gives you an assignment (the job your supposed to do.) On a fire it could be fire supression, ventilation, RIT team, etc. Once your assignment is complete, you go back to IC (incident command) or your commanding officer and recieve a new job.

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