So I am on my way to making a big change in my life. Just 2 years ago I graduated with a 4-year degree at a state university and got a job in my field pretty quickly. But 2 years on the job has already convinced me this isn't what I want to do with the rest of my life, I'd rather go back to school to become certified fulltime firefighter.
Anyways, so I am pretty much lost in the way of figuring out all I have to do to eventually become certified. I was hoping to receive some tips regarding what exactly are the best schools in the state to train at, is there a way to latch onto a department and have them pay for your schooling, and also, how many classes does one really need to take to become employed in this state?
Anyone willing to help, I'd really appreciate it.
here in wi the easiest way to go is to join with a local volunteer fire dept, the state in turn picks up the tab for your classes, the classes you'll need however are entry level Firefighter 1 and 2 and Firefighter 1 and 2. both firefighter class's require testing to become certified, and testing is offered multiple times a year, and multiple locations. also now days being a firefighter might not be enough. depending on the Dept. you want to go to you may need a min. of EMT B, or as high as a paramedic. but like i said it depends on the department. also theres many specialty sections you can go into also, for example Tech Rope Rescue, Ice Rescue,and Hazmat.the rule of thumb i've learned is the more you can bring to the table with you the better your odds, and while going to school with a volunteer dept. it will offer you priceless expeirence. but keep in mind to work on a fire scene you should have a min. of entry level 2 with a live burn. My school of choice would be Wisconsin Indianhead Tech.
Don't know what area your in, all the tech colleges offer good training and the doorway to certification. Also understand not all colleges offer Entry Level FF, and I think you'll see a swing back to the 96 hr. FF I. And Wisconsin has started teaching Essentials 5th edition so Haz Mat Ops is now required for FF I testing, it used to be required for FF II. There have been some big changes in the curriculum but after a once through it will work out. Regardless of what tech college you attend, you'll get good training and the idea of joining a poc or volunteer dept. is a good one.
I hear ya,' man!
I was in your shoes, not very long ago. I used to work in an office job, in the health insurance field. I lost my job, took my vacation pay and registered in a wildlands firefighters course, I was hired by the DNR this past spring as an LTE Fire Rider, and that sparked (pardon the pun!) an interest in fire fighting. After unsuccessfully attempting to get a regular job, I looked into schooling for fire fighting. I am currently attending the MATC fire certification academy( FF1 and FF2) and taking the EMT-basic. Because of my family commitments, combined with schooling, joining a Volunteer dept. isn't really of an option, at the moment. I plan on joining the local VFD, once it gets closer to the end of schooling.
My advice to you is to take a look at area fire departments and see what they look for in requirements, and then base you education and experience goals on that.
Best of luck