Capt Craig Freeman

Firefighter Return to Work Program

Today I reviewed the Firefighter opportunities that are available across the country. The FireCareers boards provide a plethora of opportunities. At this very moment, Fire departments across the country are looking to add firefighters. As a matter of fact, 1,300 departments are accepting entry- level firefighter applications right now; and more than 1,300 agencies are looking to fill upgraded positions within their ranks.

Certainly, many fire departments are suffering budget cut backs, closing fire stations, reducing staffing with work furloughs and layoffs. It is easy to get caught up in the idea that now is not the time to look for a fire career. When I was going through testing, it was during a time similar to this. Many departments were suffering the same problems and there was an overall sensation that no fire departments were hiring.  During the first several years of my fire career, the city threatened to lay off firefighters each year by closing a rescue unit that would have let 6 firefighters go.  We started to refer to these firefighters as the “Deep 6.”  They seemed to be one foot out the door.

What I didn’t know then, was that opportunity is all around.  I was so focused on working for this specific agency that I never thought about working for a different department. I did not realize that I had options; I could have taken a test for a promoted position within another fire department.  Now I know you don’t need to be complacent. As a matter of fact, many Fire Chief positions are filled by firefighters moving from one department to another.

As a long- standing member of the International Association of Fire Fighters L1684, I believe it is my duty to assist the brother and sisters of this fine organization and I hold an obligation to help others fulfill their fire career goals. For these reasons, we offer the “Firefighter Return to Work” program. We gladly extend FREE service to firefighters who have been laid off. If you are a firefighter or know a firefighter who was laid off, please have them contact our offices @ 1-800-326-8401 and talk to Marcie.  She will be happy to assist you in getting the proper documents together and get your membership started for FREE. Our goal is to get you back on the job!   

For details on this program visit:

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