HI, My name is Gabe Alvarez and I work for Daisy Mountain Fire Department, just on the outskirts of Phoenix. We are starting up a patch collection at our station. I would like to trade patches if your interested. Thank you.
Go to college. I agree with what Michael Ward said. I got my Bachelor's Degree from Univ of Maryland in Fire Science Tech. And I did it on my own with a lot of grants and small scholarships to help pay for out of state tuition. It has increased my testing 10 fold with Fire Depts. I would also recommend that you not only look close to home for a fire job. Outside experiences can be more than helpful, I've been a FF in the US and Canada and a FF in Antarctica (no joke.) These have helped me and now I'm sitting on the hiring process (final stage) for THREE different depts. I get the luxury of choosing where to go, a rather uncommon thing in the fire service. Please let me know if I can help in any way...and PS I statred as a fire explorer too!