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1617 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA, 92058
United States

858-922-1222

To provide local military veterans the networking opportunities they need to excel in life after deployment, while also providing a unique training experience that can enable them to enter the workforce as stronger decision makers, more active leaders, and efficient problem solvers. 

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Blog

Blog updates on our program.

 

Transitions

Sallay Kim

Being a member of the Military In Transition Firefighter For A Day (MITFFAD) program is one that is near and dear to my heart.  At MITFFAD, we assist service members leaving the military with customized educational paths and careers in the firefighting industry.  As we’re still in the month of November, a month of Thanksgiving and gratefulness to our Veterans of this great Nation, I’d like to take a moment to share my story of transition from the US Army just over eight years ago. 

When I left the service in 2010, my main concern was, what will I do with the rest of my life?  My search for a career field began five years prior to retiring, but was still a daunting task.  I knew that I wanted to do something different than what I had been doing my entire military career (Military Intelligence), just like the Service Members we help at MITFFAD.  I knew that I needed additional education for what I wanted to do (Event Management), just like the Service Members we help at MITFFAD.  I knew that I would need some assistance in getting to where I wanted to be post service (in my case, an entrepreneur), just like the Service Members we help at MITFFAD.  What I didn’t know was how to get the assistance I needed in becoming what I wanted to be post service. 

Unlike being in the service, the civilian sector, while liberating, is the near opposite of the life we live in the service.  When you walk into a room with a uniform on, everyone knows who you are as your name, your unit, your branch of service, your specialty badges and the unit you served in combat with are all visible to everyone who sees you.  Instant connections are made based on these visual cues.  The unit you’re assigned to is like family, with a known organizational structure, protocol and traditions.  You know what is expected of you and you generally have realistic expectations of others. 

When Service Members leave the service and walk into a room with civilian clothes on, the complete opposite of what they’ve known all their years in service occurs.  They no longer have the security of their uniform that speaks volumes as to who they are.  Without networking savviness, they may not understand how important it is to make their own introductions and meet people and opportunities within their grasp. 

MITFFAD is a bridge for Service Members to network, build a path for education and make connections for a career in the Firefighting Industry here in Southern California.   I am grateful for this program, as the resources within MITFFAD are far reaching, filling a void and creating opportunity for our Veterans to remain here in San Diego in a profession that affords growth and good use of their team mentality.  Our community is a better, stronger entity with these military members in it.  Knowing the challenges that face a transitioning service member, this is a program I can stand behind.

Sincerely, Sallay Kim, Retired Army Service Member & MITFFAD Board Member

Fire Prevention Month Means More Than Preventing Fires To One Retired Fire Chief

Sallay Kim

Fire Prevention Month means more than preventing fires to one retired Fire Chief

 

October is Fire Prevention month, “don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and take time to review your escape routes in case of fire in the home.” As a Fire Chief, I sent this message out every year in an effort to better prepare my community and provide the opportunity for them to come and see what the fire service is all about.

Today, please allow me to discuss another form of prevention that needs to be addressed. This involves our men and women who have given of their time to serve in our military. I believe that these individuals make outstanding firefighters and because of their experience are well suited to transition into our fire departments.  Please help me in preventing them from leaving our great state because they can’t find suitable career’s that would allow them to stay.

Military in Transition Firefighter for a Day (MITFFAD) is a non-profit that was started in Oceanside, California by a group of people who desire to keep our servicemen and women in California while they transition from their service in the military.  It is our desire to introduce these incredible individuals to the fire service and assist them in obtaining careers with fire departments throughout California.

Our Military men and women are well equipped for these positions, but lack some of the specialized training required for the career. It can take up to four years to obtain a career in the fire service. This specialized training can be difficult to access without the proper guidance and information about the career itself. MITFFAD provides the opportunity for these folks to experience what firefighters do and how-to best approach obtaining a career within the fire service.

Our Team consist of Fire Chiefs, Education specialist, Retired Military and Business Professionals, all who have a heart to assist and promote our transitioning veterans in obtaining a career here in the California Fire Service.

How can you help? We need to get the word out and let our transitioning personnel in all branches know that we exist. We need more fire personnel to assist during our one-day events. We need financial assistance to purchase equipment and supplies for our events. Our goal is simple, we want our military personnel to stay in California.

I’m very proud to be a part of this team. The work we invest doesn’t always have immediate results and sometimes it can’t be measured. Recently, I received a call from one of our MIT’s and he informed me that he received a letter from a large department offering him a firefighter position. This individual gave our program credit for his success. I was humbled, but not surprised because I have had the pleasure of spending time with many of these MIT graduates and they are some of the most incredible people I’ve met.

Please help us prevent our future fire department members from leaving our great State. Take a look at our Facebook and Linked In pages and see how you can make a difference in one military service person’s life.

Thanks for your support,

Darryl Hebert