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Here we can list frequently asked questions and answer them in a Q and A style.

  • How does the Apprenticeship Work?
    You apply through the Oregon Fire Apprenticeship Program Board or your Local participating municipal or Fire District employer
  • Who is the Board made up of?
    The Statewide Fire Fighter Joint Apprentice Training Committee (FFJATC) is equal parts of three fire fighters from IAFF represented participating departments and three from participating municipal fire departments or participating fire districts.
  • Do apprentices work shift work?
    Yes, apprentices work shifts, get paid a negotiated wage based on the fire departments fire districts collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and are provided a benefit package at a reduced rate from entry level journey fire fighter. Apprentices work with at least one journey level fire fighter for a minimum 1:1 ratio. Apprentices do not work journey level or dedicated positions.
  • What is the duration of the apprentice program?
    Two years, that includes 4000 hours of on the job training, college level course work to include EMT Basic, Introduction to EMS, Writing, Math, Communications, and Building Construction for Fire Protection. At the end of two years the apprentice completes the training and certifications to become a journey level fire fighter. Their employment will cease with the apprentice program, unless suitable full-time employment as a journey level fire fighter is applicable through the fire agencies hiring process.
  • Where can I find active fire fighter apprenticeship programs in Oregon?
    Currently there are three fire service agencies offering apprenticeships. Jackson County Fire District #5, Eugene-Springfield Fire Department and Clackamas Fire District #1 are currently offering or participating in the apprenticeship program. For more information and opportunities, please contact those fire service agencies or the Oregon State Fire Fighter Council (OSFFC) under the 'Contact Us' tab.
  • Are volunteers allowed into apprenticeship program?
    Yes, if they are pursuing a career in the fire service. This program is to augment a fire departments effective fire fighting force while providing on the job training and certifications that make them marketable for future employment. It also gives those who previously never considered a career in the fire service, such as women, people of color and veterans, a chance to explore a career in the fire service.
  • Can an apprentice work by themselves or operate with volunteers as part of a fire department engine rescue or truck company response?
    No, not typically. This program has measured specific practical and educational goals along with working side by side with a journey fire fighter on a career engine company as the third or fourth fire fighter. This model gets closer or meets NFPA 1710 or 1720 guidelines for crew strength.
  • Will this program affect Volunteer Fire Departments in Oregon?
    No. This program is to augment or improve career or combination fire departments or fire districts response to emergencies.
  • What are apprentices paid?
    The wage and benefit packages are negotiated with the participating employer and the specific IAFF local associated with the host department. Currently the first year of apprenticeship is paid at a rate of 73% of journey level while the second years steps up to 80% of the respective collective bargaining agreement. This also include all benefits associated with being a full-time fire fighter including the duration of employment as an apprentice and as a Union member.
  • Who will pay for this program?
    Local employers, Federal and State Grant possibilities are being explored such as SAFER Grants, FEMA Wildfire Mitigation Grants, along with administrative grants from the State of Oregon. The apprenticeship program is not meant to be instead of full-time fire fighters but in addition to. The structure and adherence to the program is at the employer level with their IAFF locals and the Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (FFJATC).
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