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1617 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA, 92058
United States


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. 



Blog updates on our program.


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

MITFFAD - An all Ladies Event!

Sallay Kim

Each day approximately 550 American heroes transition from their military lives and enter the civilian world as veterans. Based on California’s year-end unemployment rate in 2014, we can estimate that roughly 16,000 veterans are unemployed in San Diego County alone. These are the men and women who we have trusted to protect us and our families. These brave soldiers have dedicated each day of their lives to sacrificing their comfort for the freedom of our country and some are now struggling to find employment.

The Oceanside Fire Department and many residents of San Diego County have recognized the need to help these former soldiers during this transition. Together we have created a program which highlights service strengths.  The program is known as Military in Transition Firefighter for a Day (MITFFAD). Through this program, veterans are given the opportunity to network with business professionals while having fun collaborating in a team building environment. Executives from local businesses suit up and join transitioning soldiers of the United States military to fight simulated fires under the guidance of the Oceanside Fire Department at their local training facility.  On October 15, the MIT Firefighter for a Day event highlighted women. Kelly Nicholls, senior vice president of Lee & Associates – North San Diego County and co-program coordinator of MIT Firefighter for a Day, joined a handful of other business professionals, veterans, and active servicewomen in a day of teamwork and fun.  Business professional were given the opportunity to meet women who have made monumental impacts on our society and employment opportunities were discovered and friendships and business relationships were made.  Viasat, Hydranautics, Nikkiso America, New Horizon Learning Centers are just a few of the many supporters that participated in 2016.
Nicholls and co-program coordinator, Sallay Kim sat down with a few of the participants to get feedback on the event:

Question: “What did you enjoy most about the program?”
Answer 1: “The opportunity to meet these amazing women military members and veterans, and have such a unique and bonding experience with them as Firefighters for a Day.”
Answer 2: “I enjoyed being able to connect with influential executives as well as top personnel in the field that I’m pursuing as my own career. Although they may not be the ones to hire me they have opened up the door to give help and guidance if I ever need it and offer a good word to other agencies who may hire. I enjoyed personally, seeing these business executives and others who aren’t military, learn to just trust us, without knowing them at all, they trusted the firefighters and their team that they could make it up the ladder, through the house etc. I hope that leads them to hire more veterans in the future knowing we get the job done and we’ll take care of anything we’re assigned to.”
Answer 3: “Getting to experience what Firefighters do and meeting new people.”

Question: “What did you dislike about the program?”
Answer 1: “I did not dislike anything, however I probably took on more than my back could handle during the fire rescue exercise. It might be good to be more specific in the orientation as to what is involved in each of the experiences and recommendations for how you can modify but still participate.”
Answer 2: “It didn’t last all day (insert smiley face) but there wasn’t anything I didn’t dislike.”

Nicholls added, “Military in Transition Firefighter for a Day is a unique networking association, creating a visceral and very personal connection with our military and our executives for a day. If you are in a position to influence hiring, I invite you to check out our website at