Thread: Advice Needed
04-22-2008, 09:59 PM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
Well first of all I'm just looking for some advice on a couple subjects. Right now im 18 and I was wondering what my first step should be to become a firefighter. I live in the Seattle and was wondering if I should start at a community college to get my AA in fire sciences? OR try to get my emt cert. Also if I spend two years getting my AA in fire Sciences could I start applying for jobs and would that be enough to get me in the door? Also whats the job market in firefighting look like in washington right now? Also if you have another direction I should go let me know any advice is apperciated. Thank you for your time.
Is Bates Technical College a good place to get your AA in fire sciences?
04-30-2008, 01:30 AM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
I'm a volunteer with a combination department in south king county. The job outlook is EXTREMELY good for king county in the next couple years. There is alot of growth happening, and alot of departments are expanding, Kent is hiring (and opening a new station), Maple Valley is set to hire, and my department is going to hire atleast 2 more in the next 1.5 years. From what i've heard is #1 get your EMT (paramedics are run by themselves by medic one) #2 get your FF1
There are some departments in washington who won't hire you without your EMT-B, and the FF1 is a big plus for a bunch of departments (who will have you get it after they hire you anyway). Some people will disagree with this, but I say join a volunteer department to see if this is what you really want to do, and to get some experience. My department pretty much takes anyone with a pulse, and they will pay for your EMT, and get you your FF1. My understanding is that Bates and North Bend are the two best fire academies in Washington, but Bates has a fire science program (north bend does not), I have a few friends who went to Bates and they loved it. Bates also gets you your EMT-B and FF1. My department is currently paying for atleast 2 volunteers to go through it right now.
If you want more info send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
also, check out my department if your interested www.kcfd44.org
04-30-2008, 08:56 AM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Why not do both? EMT is a semester long course (96 hours). I would bet Bates offers EMT and Fire Science courses. You should complete your EMT and get a job as an EMT on an ambulance while you take your prerequisites for the academy. Your goal is to complete the academy and have some EMT experience.
This helps you in several ways. First and foremost, 90% of the calls you will respond to are medical aids. It's important to become a strong EMT. Down the road you may decide you want to become a paramedic. This will also help you get hired on the fire department, especially in the Seattle area.
Completing the academy allows you to take more fire department tests as many departments require an academy certificate.
Lastly, and most importantly, completing a basic fire academy will teach you the basic skills necessary to become a firefighter. When you fisnish the academy, you can become a reserve firefighter and run calls on a fire engine. When you ultimately get hired full time, you will go through some type of training. The bigger departments will send you through their own academy. The academies put on by a fire department are generally more difficul than those of a college program. The more training and experience you bring the better your chance of making it through.
04-30-2008, 10:53 PM #4
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
Seattle generally seems to test every year around january, but realize that you will be competing against around 3000 people so its definetely competitive. I have a friend that works for central pierce county(right around puyallup I believe?) and I know that they have been hiring about 10-12 a year for the last few years. I beleive they hire off a joint test that is used by several different departments in the area. I'm not from the area so I can't tell you exactly who runs the test.
I would recommend trying to get into a community college academy if you have the oppurtunity, I am currently in an academy in northern california with a large dept and out of all the people that have washed out so far, none of them had been in a previous academy. Not to say that it can't be done but its a much faster learning curve than previous academys I have attended and the training from the past really helps out.
05-01-2008, 01:14 PM #5
Washington state period has a great look for employment in the fire service. there a lot of FF's retireing right now from LEOFF 1 plan. also lots of departments are expanding with the huge growth in the west side of the state around puget sound.
I would say the best thing you can do is atleast get your EMT-B. no department will hire you here with out it. from there I would get a job with a privat ambulance company to gain experience. Most fire departments around here do there own transports. The next thing you need to do is while working for the ambulance company start going to school for your AA or ATA in fire science. Everett community college has a good one, Olympic college in Bremerton has another, Bates has one I would investigate that though a little more not sure how they run it but it's not like a normal college since it's a technical college.
During this whole process TEST TEST TEST TEST anyone or that is testing take the test. Bates puts on a joint test for surrounding departments in Kitsap, pierce, and king counties. Also see if there is a volunteer program in your local department and apply for it.
the most important part during this whole thing is:
DON'T DO ANYTHING STUPIDFOOLS
05-06-2008, 04:02 PM #6
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
Thanks for all the info guys, I really appreciate it. Right now I'm talking to a couple departments seeing if I can get any finacial help from them. It looks I will be attending Bates starting September. I'm going to go for my emt cert first than my ff1. Quick question whats the difference between a emt cert and a emt-b cert?
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