1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    San Diego, CALIFORNIA
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    Default AA fire science/ CERT. fire science

    I'm 25 and decided to go back to school to finish up my associates in fire science. I found out through my counselor at Southwestern College (san diego/ chula vista, ca) that there are two routes to take, either my AA in fire science, which means additional classes other then just fire science classes i need to take, or a "certification" which i would only have to take fire science classes. My question is in San Deigo do the majority of fire departments prefer an associaties in fire science over certification in fire science? I know for a fact that next semester i will finish my EMT-B, any advice would help, I understand that here are no short cuts in life but I'm married with a 2 year old daughter and house payments etc. so that's why i'm looking for the quickest way to becoming a firefighter/ paramedic.

    *also can you be hired as a Firefighter/EMT-B, work and have that qualify as your one year work as an EMT to qualify you for paramedic school,? or do you have to work strictly as a EMT ONLY?

  2. #2
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    Get your DEGREE. It is more recognized than a certification. Also, you want to strive to get through the basic fire academy first. Palomar has a good one as does Miramar. You will find that people will tell you to go to Paramedic school first, however, you cannot even take the test for Carlsbad, Escondido, Ranch Santa Fe.......without a basic fire academy. Many of these departments also require a PM cert, however that ALL require a basic fire academy.

    Completing the basic fire academy also increases the chances you will make it through a tough fire department's fire academy. San Diego City and many other departments will put you through their academy when you are hired. These are much more difficult than the JC fire academeys. Having completed a JC fire academy will greatly increase your marketability as well as making it through a FD academy.

    It sounds like you have already completed some fire science courses. I believe you can get into the Palomar academy with two classes and EMT. Get in as soon as you can.

    Yes, working as a firefighter EMT does count toward your PM school EMT requirement. You do want to keep in mind that the EMT requirement is there for a reason. You need to be a good EMT prior to entering PM school. It will help you in school and more importantly, it will help you during your PM internship. You will see many more patients as an EMT on an ambulance. Furthermore, the length of time spent with patients will be longer. As a firefighter EMT, you may do an initial assessment and take vitals. The ambulance EMT's put the patient in the back of the rig, take another set of vitals and do their own assessment. They are usually much better EMT's. The selection committee for the schools also know this.
    Remember, the rules are there to help you succeed. A stronger EMT makes a stronger paramedic.
    Good luck with your decision,
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CALIFORNIA
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    Thank you very much, your information is very helpful! That's exactly what I was going to do, I already registered at SWC and declared fire science (AA plan) as my major (anything to better my chances). I hope to clear out all my classes by the end of next summer, I started my classes awhile ago and something was telling me to go back. One more question, so after I get my AA in fire science and my EMT-B, I can then apply to go to an academy (Miramar/ Palomar) and after graduation of the academy am I appointed to a station or do I have to apply, I guess that's where I'm kind of getting confused, and does the academy pay as you go through? Somewhere in the other threads said that at Miramar if your going to school there and declared fire science/ technology as your major you have a better chance of getting into their academy (they have 5 people from miramar college automatically) but you attend as a student, and if you apply for the academy as a "Non-student at miramar" it is a paid academy $2,900.

    I hate to bring money in this because, I really want to do this for the type of work firefighters do, it's just in my nature to have that type of menallity helping people, being a "HERO," but having a child and a family of course I have a responsibility to contribute and provide for them.

    I also understand that paramedic school is a year long full time, is it possible to work as a firefighter/ emt-b be paid and would they allow you to do that and still go to paramedic school? Because I would love to work as a paramedic also.... I hear that people are going to paramedic school just to get a badge and work as a firefighter, sorry but you either want to do this job for the right reason and fulfill your duty to help people or your in the wrong field, sorry my 2cents.

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