Thread: College Major for Fire Fighting
10-05-2008, 10:06 PM #1
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- Oct 2008
College Major for Fire Fighting
I am new to this website so im sorry if i made this thread in the wrong area. Anyways i came here to clear up a few things about becoming a fire fighter. Ive been told its best to get a 4 year education at a college for a better chance at getting a job as a fire fighter and climbing the ladder to making better wages.
Ive also been told its best to keep options open by majoring in someing else besides fire technology. Ive heard that even if you major in something else and apply for a job as a fire fighter it shows you have a commitment towards becoming a fire fighter even though you could go into a different job with your major and make much higher wages.
I am very interested in becoming a fire fighter as a career and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
p.s i am a freshman in my first semester in a JC in Northern California and i have yet to sign up for any Fire Technology Classes.
thank you for your time.
10-06-2008, 12:40 AM #2
Which College Degree should you get.
I come from a family of firefighters. When I was a kid being firefighter had everything to do with being a hose man, driver/pump operator. The fire officer was the guy who had been there the longest. SCBA’s had not been invented. If they were there you weren’t a real man if you used one. I remember getting yelled at by the chief for using an SCBA on a car fire
Things have changed so much in the fire service. Today I would suspend you and send you to the house for not wearing an SCBA at a car fire.
The point I want to make is this. The fire service today has been through major changes. The fire service is so diverse. The areas of expertise that you can specialize in are vast. You should explore each of them before you jump into a college degree program. The discipline you choose will affect what degree program you may want to pursue. Each one of these disciplines has there own state, national, and in some cases international certifications programs.
Paramedic……..............Emergency Medical Technology
Inspections/Life Safety Code Enforcement……Fire Protection
Public Education……......Public Relations, Communication or Marketing
Suppression…………........Fire Science or Fire Technology
Heavy Rescue………………Structural Engineering
Technical Rescue.........High Angle Rescue
Fire Investigations….....Criminology or Forensic Science
You don’t have to have a college degree at all to work in the fire service. However getting a degree is a wonderful thing. I encourage you to get one. It will help with advancement once you are hired. Paramedics are in high demand everywhere in the country. If you are a good paramedic you can walk into most departments and get hired fairly quickly. Don’t became a paramedic unless that’s the discipline you want to spend your career doing. If you start out as a paramedic you will find it very hard in most departments to get out of it to work in any other discipline. You should have knowledge in all the disciplines but to be really good. You will have to specialize in one not all.
Good luck and Welcome to the greatest job in the world.
When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
"God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
But when 'tis out and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879
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