1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Am I doing everything right? Are my chances good?

    Hey all,

    I was wondering if I am doing everything I can to get my feet in the water and help land me a badge in a few years.

    Im a 20 year old (few months until 21) male from Schaumburg, IL. I attended Eastern Illinois University for Physical Education with a teaching degree for 2 years but then decided its not something I wanted to do after all and decided my ultimate goal is to be a firefighter. Ever since my best friends dads wore the badge and I heard stories and such Ive wanted to become one myself but it totally blew my mind when it came time to choosing a college.

    I recently transferred to Western Illinois into one of the nation's best Law Enforcement programs (think its like #2). Upon entering here, I found out they had an on-site EMS program, Western EMS, and they were accepting applications for this semester. Well among of about 80 people that applied, ~25 were selected and I was one of them (based on interviews and such). I am currently taking a class held by WEMS to become a certificed 1st Responder. Next semester, as long as I pass the class, I will be on the job and responding to calls and such. If all goes well, I will be taking an EMT class next semester to get certified.

    I also play for the WIU lacrosse team so I am staying in shape and I am working out daily aswell.

    My question to all of you, what do I need to work on? What is going to help me get the badge when I finally graduate with a Law Enforce (major) Fire Administration (minor) degree?

    To sum it all up:

    Western EMS - 12 hour shifts, responding to calls
    Reviewed oral board questions and continue to practice them
    Working out/staying fit
    Law Enforcement/Fire Administration (major/minor) @ 4 year college

    EMT certification through Western IL (after receiving 1st Responder cert)
    Volunteer/Explore @ local FD Summer of 09 (this next summer)

    Thanks for any and all help in advance,

    Jim P

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Let me get this straight; you are going to a law college to get a fire degree? Also, why are you taking first responder first? Are you able to go directly into an EMT course?
    When you are finished with school, what degree do you get? Is it a Bachelors?

    I am a huge supporter of education. The "average" fire candidate does not have very much. I believe ALL candidates should be in school working toward an AA or AS degree. Online classes make it possible to "go to school" whenever it's convenient for YOU.

    Two thumbs up for the rest of your plan:
    Staying in GREAT physical condition
    Learning to take a FIRE DEPARTMENT interview (much different than any other interview you will ever take)
    Working as a volunteer firefighter
    You are on the right track
    Keep up the good work and success will follow

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    Last edited by BCLepore; 10-10-2008 at 09:23 AM.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    Western - I choose to come to Western not because of the law portion of the school. I choose to go to Western because it is one of the only schools in the state (4 year) that offers anything fire related (fire administration as a minor). There is a possibility I will be changing to Emergency Management Services major instead of the Law Enforcement major but I havent decided yet.

    Yes it will be a Bachelors (as of now): In Law Enforcement and Justice Administration with a minor in Fire Administration

    First Responder - I am taking First Responder because it is required by the Western EMS and the State of Illinois. But yes, I can take EMT class first, but I was told by my WEMS instructors that anyone that has gone through their program and then has proceeded into the EMT course passed with ease and flying colors, so its just another stepping stone.

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