1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default What to do?... give me advice!

    To start out i am 18 years old and graduated high school in 07 and attended the university of missouri for the fall semester but decided that pre-veterinarian wasnt for me and i wanted to go into a career involving firefighting.I live in Columbia, MO and as of now i am in emt basic training and i am trying to decide what to do next. I am really looking into getting my AAS in fire science and i want some feedback on that decision. Is that going to help me very much? My other option is to attend a fire academy at a community college in kansas city but i dont know if that is the thing to do now and as of right now i want to stay in Columbia if I can. Now i was thinking of getting my AAS in fire science online and i was looking for some recommendations on a school for that. I found Columbia southern university to offer this online and i believe the university of cincinnatti does as well. So what i am asking is what would be the best choice to eventually get hired as a paid firefighter. Another option is to get on the volunteer county departments in the area which i hear are some of the best in the country. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks alot-Joel

  2. #2
    Piney Power
    PineyPower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey, United States


    A veterinarian and a firefighter couldn't be more far off. haha.

    I'm 18 and I graduated high school in 2007 as well, but I was with my volunteer fire company before I turned 18 so I went straight to the fire academy once I did so there was no decisions to make on my part.

    I wish you the best of luck with whatever you do, though.
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
    "Piney Power"

    Berkeley Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T./Haz-Mat/WMD/CBRNE) Station 85
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey 08721

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Talking Some Advice!

    Hey JRinMO i am 26 and live in st louis. I currently volunteer for a department south of st louis. I think you are on the right track by getting your emt but would recommend that you get fire 1 and 2 after you get your emt and start volunteering as soon as possible. I am going to get my fire science degree eventually but some of those classes would serve you better if you have had experience. I would go for your emt-p license if you have the desire to get it that would be your best choice instead of a fire science degree. As for online courses i would stay away from simply because most instructors have great experience and can give you that extra knowledge you wont get online. The teachers are also going to know your area better and offer better advice for your local departments.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    I would encourage you to complete your education AND set your sights on completing a basic fire academy. Both of these "tickets" set you apart from the rest of the testing crowd.

    Completing a basic fire academy verifies to a department that you are not afraid of heights, can work as a team member, are able to don an SCBA in the allotted time frame, and can work under pressure.

    Additionally, many departments require a basic fire academy just to take the entry-level exam.

    Lastly, a basic fire academy teaches you the basics of pulling hose and throwing ladders. When you get hired, you will most likely go through some type of training regimen. Larger departments run their new hirees through their own academy. This academy will be 10 times harder than the basic fire academy. You will be glad you learned the basics as the reality is that there is a 20-40% failure rate from FIRE department academies. The more familiar with the equipment and training, the greater the chance you will succeed.

    Completing your degree shows that you finish what you start and you have the ability to read and write. Completing your Bachelor's degree certainly has more value than your Associate's degree as it takes a bigger commitment to complete it.

    Don't forget about the importance of maintaining a high level of physical fitness. Poor physical conditioning is the number one reason people fail out of the academy. Stay fit!
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    almsfan21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    I attended a fire academy in Kansas City this past fall. It was at Blue River community college, in my opinion the best in the area. There is also one of the Kansas side. Check out Mizzou Fire Rescue in Columbia, as they have a great basic fire academy, and teach many of the advanced fire-rescue classes across the state. Personally, I'd go through an academy first, then work on your fire science (many colleges require Fire 1 and 2, EMT, and Hazmat as prereqs). I have a good friend that vollies out in the Jeff City area (Cole County). There's lots of options, any questions, let me know..
    Probationary Firefighter

    Paramedic in training..

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