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  1. #1
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    Default Advice on going back to school for advancement?

    Let me start out by saying that this is a great site. I have found that there are a lot of awesome people on here with excellent advice for a young guy like myself who's just getting his feet wet in his first fire department job. You guys really have helped me a lot in the past! Even if some of your advice has not been friendly or "nice", it's always been what I "needed" to hear...which is not what I have always "wanted" to hear. Thanks again for that. For being honest....brutally honest sometimes....

    Anyways....

    I like working in the fire service a lot and wouldn't trade this line of work for the world. My main issue here though is that I would really like to get on a larger, busier department. In order to do that in my state, I need to get my paramedic license. If I could find a class that would work around my work schedule, that would be great, but I can't find one.

    So here's my dilemna.....

    I am considering going back to school for my paramedic license to further myself in the fire service. Doing this would require me to leave the firefighting job I am currently at. I can not take the time off from my job that is required since my work schedule would collide with my school schedule and I cannot get the time off from work to take this class.

    I am past my probationary period on my department. What are you guys' opinions on this?

    What do you guys think about my plan? I'm looking for advice from guys who have actually went through all the trenches of testing and whatnot or moving around between different departments...Advice from guys who might know better than me. Maybe some guys here have been in a position where they have had a say in hiring proccess' and whatnot. If this is you, what's yur take on my plan?

    What would be your advice to me? I'm a guy who has always wanted to be on a busy, medium sized and up department with a variety of calls. A guy who has done a lot of schooling and whatnot to get to where he is and has kept his nose clean as far as drugs and criminal history.

    I blame myself partially for not researching the department I am with well enough to find things out. I take responsibility for that so please don't point the finger at me and say stuff like that. I know that. But my situation is what it is now, and that's what I'm lookin for advice on....

    Basically I want to get on a department where I can really see myself having a succcessful firefighting future.

    I am all ears, because this is something that has really been bugging me a lot lately....

    Thanks in advance....
    Last edited by zachis4wheeling; 06-17-2008 at 08:41 PM. Reason: personal reasons
    Quote Originally Posted by jedch47 View Post
    You like me are probably just a small player in this big EMS game. I am sure that it all makes sense to the people in charge. I am under the impression that when you start in upper level managment you lose the majority of your common sense.


  2. #2
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    Default

    I just realized how long the above post was. Let me apologize for the length and congratulate you if ya made it all the way thru the thing. Again...any and all help is appreciated.....
    Quote Originally Posted by jedch47 View Post
    You like me are probably just a small player in this big EMS game. I am sure that it all makes sense to the people in charge. I am under the impression that when you start in upper level managment you lose the majority of your common sense.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I would start by taking all of the information particular to you, your department and your situation out of the post. The fire service is a very small community and the worst thing for you would be to have a member of YOUR department read about themselves on the internet. You will find your decision very easy as they will find a way to terminate you on probation.

    It's easier to find a firefighter position when you are already a firefighter. I would think twice about giving up what you already have.

    If, you do decide to resign, make sure you do so AFTER you have completed the probationary period. If possible get a letter from your coworkers of supervisor that endorses your work habits. etc.
    Good luck with your decision,

    Paul Lepore
    Battlaion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  4. #4
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    Well, I made my decision. I want to begin by letting you know that I value your opinon a lot BC Lepore.....but I know in the end, I have to do what is best for me and that's what I did.

    I signed up for the medic program.

    And a week ago, I gave notice to the department I am on that I will be resigning. My last day will be Friday, September 19.

    This decision was definitely the toughest career related, and possibly the toughest overall decision I have ever had to make. I did a lot of thinking, and I mean A LOT. Like 6 months worth. I talked to probably a dozen Chiefs and even more people who are involved with the hiring processes at the fire departments I would like to apply to in the future around the metro Detroit area. I explained to all of them my story; of how I was in medic, then got hired and had to leave and have wanted to finish medic up since I got the new job and how there was no way I'd have been able to go back to school due to my Monday - Friday 4M-Midnite shift schedule. I explained that I know I don't have quite a year in yet at the fulltime firefighter job, but that due to the starting date of the medic program, this is just something that I will have to live with.

    And with the exception of one chief, they all told me pretty much the same thing; That in order to even apply for their departments, I NEED that medic, I don't NEED experience, although the combined 3 years of paid on call/full time experience I do have would definitely help me out. They all said that they completely understand my problem and that if I applied, smoked the tests and was being interviewed or looked at, that this would not be a hindrance at all.

    Again BC, not that I don't value your opinion, because I honestly do, but I just want you to know, like I said, after talking directly with a dozen or so chiefs at the departments I plan on applying to and hearing what they have to say, I honestly think I made the right decision.
    Quote Originally Posted by jedch47 View Post
    You like me are probably just a small player in this big EMS game. I am sure that it all makes sense to the people in charge. I am under the impression that when you start in upper level managment you lose the majority of your common sense.

  5. #5
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    Zach,
    As you so well articulated, it's your decision. You obviously gave a great deal of thought and consideration to your decision. The good news for you is that you already landed a job in the fire service. This means that you have figured out what we are looking for. Additionally, you successfully completed the probationary period. This is another feather in your cap (helmet).
    I respect someone who sets a goal, researches his options and follows through with it. Best of luck, you will do fine. Please keep us posted on your progress.
    Respectfully,
    Paul Lepore
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  6. #6
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    Good luck, I can respect someone who knows what he/she wants and does more than talks about it.
    The best advice I can give you for medic school is to remember; it will end. I really enjoyed medic school, but I was glad when it was over.
    The school that I went to played a lot of games and the instructors were the last yearís students. They had a high turnover and well as they say, "Those who can 'do', and those who can't 'teach'". Write your goals on a piece of paper and if you start to become overwhelmed pull it out and read it, it will help to keep you going.
    Working for a small department has its benefits, but most promotions are not made by work history, or qualifications. I have found that higher ranking officers become threatened be the smart young guy and are very defensive towards them. Most of your larger departments donít have the time for those games and promote from a promotional list.
    Like many other departments, my department recently started using an assessment center. I have found, at least in my department that the candidate that go to a class or seminar to learn how to take the test do well. I donít know if the best candidatesí are getting promoted or the best ďactorsĒ are getting the job.
    Anyway I am starting on a soap box and I wonít bore you with that. Keep your chin up, never stop going to school, and you will be very successful.

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