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Fire/EMS Pilot


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#1 ZeroHourMedic

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 00:29

Hello,

I would like to know the process in becoming a Fire/EMS pilot, specifically for the Los Angeles County Fire Dept. I would appreciate if someone could guide me on the following training requirements/experience:
1) A commercial or Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with rotorcraft-helicopter rating, (2) A Class 2 or Class 1 FAA Medical Certificate is required.

I would also want to know what degrees are offered in aviation.

#2 Astro

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 11:56

Well first you need to go to flight school (they will send you to a doctor to get your medical certificate). You will need a second class to work as a commercial pilot.

The commercial certificate requires at least 150 flight hours and the ATP 1200.

Fire/EMS pilot is at the higher end of the career spectrum. To get there will take many, many, many, years working first as flight instructor (you will need 200 hours to get that job) until you have close to 2000 hours, then most likely tours in the Grand Canyon (since offshore GOM jobs are disappearing fast) until you reach 3000-5000 hours, then maybe you can get into EMS?

Fire pilot, I've never met one of those, but I hear its even harder to get into?

#3 Azhigher

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 13:05

1. ATP hour requirements can be found with a basic google search. Most people will have the hours needed a year or two after leaving flight school. (As long as you get your night hours in flight school or shortly thereafter.)

 

2. Medical certificates only take about $100 and 30 minutes of time to get. Every commercial pilot has one.

 

3. No degree necessary.

 

4. To get just about any job find out what they fly then figure out how to get time in that sector and that airframe. Looks like LAFD flies 412's and 139's. Going to be hard to get time in a 412 unless you're prior military and/or willing to go to the middle east. You can get 139 time in the gulf of Mexico (If/when oil recovers) or if you're feeling a little crazy you could go fly with Maryland State Police and get time there.

 

5. So basically your whole process of becoming an LAFD pilot will probably be flight school (Or military) then instructing, then an entry level turbine job, get your ATP by going back to flight school, then work towards getting time in 139's. Expect it to take a long time and loads of money and realize by the time you're done with all of this you'll probably rather be doing something else. That seems to be how this aviation thing goes, as far as I've seen of course.



#4 ZeroHourMedic

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 13:11

Thanks for the info. I was actually referring to the LACoFD, which hires civilian (non-firefighter) pilots.

#5 kona4breakfast

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 13:13

LA County Fire.  They've got Firehawks and 412s.  IIRC, they hire at a minimum of 4000 hours.  If I were you I'd plan on doing 20 years in a National Guard unit, preferably the CANG's many H-60 units.  Spend your civilian career working your way towards CalFire.  Once you've positioned yourself well to get a job with them, just wait a decade or so until the next guy there retires.


I told my mom I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up.  She told me I couldn't do both.

#6 iChris

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 14:11

Hello,

I would like to know the process in becoming a Fire/EMS pilot, specifically for the Los Angeles County Fire Dept.

 

The first step, as stated above, would be to obtain your Commercial Pilot Certificate, Instrument, and Certified Flight Instructor Ratings. Then work toward building the required flight time and experience to meet the minimum for a LAFD pilot. That means building sufficient time in the utility and fire-fighting sector, along with flight time in single and multi-engine medium helicopters. The minimum flight hour required is 4,000 hours; however, you’re likely be going up against pilots with 5,000 to 10,000 hours with plenty of medium and above helicopter time in utility and fire-fighting.

 

Your journey from zero to LAFD pilot could take 8 to 10 years, best case, given the limited number of openings and the selection process. The ones I know that made that Journey, were well networked and well known for their excellence, and had a step up going into the process. Networking will be key.

 

LAFD Pilot – California

Los Angeles County FD

 

The Los Angeles County Fire Department is offering a career-opportunity to professional helicopter pilots who possess a valid Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP) with a Rotorcraft-Helicopter Rating issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The required certificate must be submitted at the time of filing or within 15 calendar days from the application filing date OR a valid Commercial Pilot Certificate with a Rotorcraft-Helicopter Rating issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

 

Candidates must have four thousand (4,000) logged hours of flying time in helicopters as Pilot in Command, including experience in power-off auto rotational landings. Fifteen hundred (1,500) logged hours of this time must have been flown in mountainous terrain at pressure altitudes of over four thousand (4,000) feet on map survey work, power line patrol/construction work, fire control work, search and rescue work, emergency medical services work, or similar assignments requiring take offs and landings with maximum loads on unimproved landing areas under adverse weather conditions.

 

Desirable Qualifications

 

Experience as a Pilot in Command in Class B/Complex Airspace (i.e. LAX, SFO, SAN, DEN, DCA, SEA, etc.)

 

Experience as a Pilot in Command in the Bell 212/412 series helicopters and/or the

Sikorsky H -60/S-70 series helicopter.

 

A minimum of two hundred and fifty (250) logged hours of flying time as a Pilot in

Command during night Visual Flight Rules conditions with at least 50 hours using Night

Vision Goggles (NVG's).

 

Successful completion of either a factory or military initial course on a multi-engine

helicopter.

 

Certified Flight Instructor (CFD Rotorcraft-Helicopter and/or Certified Flight Instructor

Instrument Helicopter (CFII-H) ratings.


Edited by iChris, 14 June 2016 - 14:44.

Regards,

Chris

#7 r22butters

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 16:07

Damn that's a lot of requirements! Let's see I've got the class B and "unaided" night,...just three or four more lifetimes and maybe I can get the rest? :)
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fifteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#8 ShelbyFlyer

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 07:51

Some confussion between the LAFD (Los Angeles City) and LA County Fire.  The LA County qualifications seemed covered quite well by iCrhis.  They also fly H60 Firehawks.  

 

New pilots at LAFD will only fly Bell 206 and AW 139.  Their 412s will be phased out early next year.  The LA City personnel page can be searched for the qualifications.  The flying qualifications for LA City Fire are considerably less.  However, you have to be a LA City fireman before you can apply to be a pilot.  They also have a very competitive hiring process.  Their flight training process from day one to fully certifiied in the AW139 takes up to five years regardless of previous experience.     



#9 Spike

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 10:42

Hello,

I would like to know the process in becoming a Fire/EMS pilot, specifically for the Los Angeles County Fire Dept. I would appreciate if someone could guide me on the following training requirements/experience:
1) A commercial or Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with rotorcraft-helicopter rating, (2) A Class 2 or Class 1 FAA Medical Certificate is required.

I would also want to know what degrees are offered in aviation.

 

With over 9K hours and fire experience, they round file my application every time…. Why? No type 1 or 2 time. That and, the ole “veteran’s preference” laws……

 

You want to fly for LACO Fire? Join the military and get significate time in the big iron. After that, move to LA and chummy-up to people who work there….. Get the drift?


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#10 kona4breakfast

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 14:16

Perhaps my comment didn't get submitted?  

 

Anyway, iChris and Spike have it covered.  Join the National Guard, preferably California's, and on the civilian side get some utility experience and work your way into fires.  Spend about 10 years on that process so you can meet minimums, then get in the back of the line and wait another 10 for the guys in the front of the line to retire.


I told my mom I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up.  She told me I couldn't do both.

#11 iChris

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 17:27

The ones I know that made that Journey, were well networked and well known for their excellence, and had a step up going into the process. Networking will be key.

 

After that, move to LA and chummy-up to people who work there….. Get the drift?

 

You may need more than just skill and experience. Let’s look at some of the Los Angeles County salaries vs. LA City & Cal Fire (2014) under the title “Pilot.”

 

Los Angeles County Fire Pilot:

 

Click photo to enlarge

Screen%20Shot%202016-06-16%20at%202.46.4

 

Los Angeles City Fire Pilot:

 

Click photo to enlarge

Screen%20Shot%202016-06-16%20at%204.06.4

CAL Fire Pilot:

 

Click photo to enlarge

Screen%20Shot%202016-06-16%20at%204.40.0

 

REF: 

 

Transparent California - Public Employee Salaries Are Public Record

 

Los Angeles City Fire Pilots

 

CAL Fire Pilot


Edited by iChris, 16 June 2016 - 19:13.

Regards,

Chris

#12 Spike

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 10:35

 

Yep, a guy on the first page on one of those lists once occupied my current seat. Why am I here and he’s there? Heavy iron time….. And, if you have the time and ability to dig deeper, you’d find the majority of these guys have heavy iron time -ala ex-mil….

 

However, let’s not forget, these are government jobs. To believe everyone who works at a gov job was hired simply because they were the best candidate is naïve at best……


Edited by Spike, 17 June 2016 - 10:39.


#13 kona4breakfast

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 12:36

That is some serious coin.  Almost makes it worth living in California...


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I told my mom I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up.  She told me I couldn't do both.

#14 KChristian

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 14:08

$400K??  I didn't think that was possible flying helicopters.  Is he the only guy in the industry making that much money?



#15 kona4breakfast

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 11:36

Maybe some guys in Saudi.  There's a reason why California is broke.  Hopefully the Saudis as well, before too long.


I told my mom I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up.  She told me I couldn't do both.




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