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What certs should I get this year

I have only been involved in the fire service for about a year and a half. In that time I have gotten my EMT-B and spent most of my time doing what I can in the department I volunteer for. Volunteer Association president, Volunteer FF of the year, most response calls, most training hours, recruit academy "chiefs company", and a few letters of recommendation I will be able to use.

Now its time to focus on getting certs and training. My first thought is to sign up for a FF1 academy. There are a few I could take but im just not sure what one to choose. I have looked at a few different academy. A full 360 hour(at North Bend WA)for FF1, a 240 hour academy geared towards volunteers (at North Bend WA)for FF1, and the Online with a 2 week boot camp academy out of Texas for FF1&2.

I don't think I can take work off for the 360 hour class but the other two are very do-able. I still don't know if there is a difference when I hand in an app with any of those three academy on it but I would like to know what anyone thinks when they see one VS the other.

I also plan to get my Red Card in the next month or so as well as CPR instructor.

I'm not sure where to go from there. Should I go for FF2 or should I get some of the other certs out there, what certs should I be striving for to edge out the competition?
Jarred Hoffpauir
MVF&LS C-shift

well first of all, having your cpr instructor card isnt going to help you any. Ya bare minimum you should go to a FF1 academy. You need to do whatever it takes if you really want a job, saying you can't get time off work isn't an excuse. The academy sets you up for a FF1, it doesn't give it to you, you have to have volunteer/reserve time of a year part time or 6 months full time to get a FF1. My suggestion is go to paramedic school. Thats the cert you want. Finally, tacking on lots of certs doesn't really say anything unless you are getting continuous experience. You can have all the certs you want but if you can't remember how to tie a clove hitch, what good is having a rescue systems cert? good luck with everything.