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  1. #1
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    Question I need some advice...

    I'm currently a sophmore in college majoring in construction, and have been on a volunteer fire dept. for a little over a year. I've decided that I want to pursue career in both... I was thinking about it for a long time, and realized it would be too hard to leave the fire service once I graduated college; I love it way too much! I guess my question to you guys is do any of you have two careers (one being firefighting), and if so is it easy to manage?

    Stay safe,
    JD


  2. #2
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    A lot of the guys on my dept have two jobs especially construction. Of course they are doing residential construction and do the jobs themselves. But we do have some that work for others like refrigation servicing and plumbing. Consdiering that you are on one day and off two it's pretty easy to work another job. I used to be a traveling sales rep for a company out of Chicago and covered all of the state of Iowa selling tool steel ( what tool and die shops use). I also used to work at our local Boy Scout camp and put in about 500 to 800 hrs per year volunteering there doing maintenance work.Good luck in whatever you decide to get into

  3. #3
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    I have a bachelor's degree in Information Technology and worked for almost 10 years in IT before making the change and becoming a career firefighter. I had almost 13 years in the volunteer fire service before making the change. At first I didn't do any IT work other than fixing friends computers. Now I have a small side job, less than 10 hours per week, as the tech coordinator for my local grade school. I think it works out well, and it gives me a way to actually use my $45k+ education...

  4. #4
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    Actually I have two other careers outside the FD, albeit not too far from the job. I am a fire inspector and plan reviewer for another village and last week I was just employed to some logistical work for the state medical team.

    Just let your employers know ahead of time of your schedule and the possibility that you may get held over, hired back, ect. If they hesitate, then think twice about them to prevent further grief.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Firefighter2160's Avatar
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    I also know many others that have 2 hats they wear, I am a career firefighter and also own my own computer business, obviously it is easier to juggle my time when I can make my own schedule, but if you have the will and the drive I would bet you can make it too

  6. #6
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    thanks guys! this has helped out alot!

    how would you suggest starting both careers? (thats a wierd question, not sure how to ask it thought...) what i'm trying to get at is, should i get on a department first, and go through the academy (so that i wouldnt' be missing work) and then find a job in construction? or get a job in construction first (since i'm paying out the ***** for a college degree), and then try and get on a department?

  7. #7
    Forum Member Firefighter2160's Avatar
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    well obviously you will have to do some juggling like many do, you can make good money in both careers, if it were me, I would look at what is most important to you. which do you love enough to do the rest of your life? also I would suggest getting all the certification you can on the Dept. you are on now, it can only help in the future.


    it is a unfortunate truth that now days many go to college and spend a ton of money and end up in a career that was not what they went for or majored in.

    here is some food for thought, if you could manage to get on a career dept. chances are you would have a set schedule be it 24/48 or what ever, then you would know what days you are free to work construction then possibly get on with a company who is willing to work with you.

    it would be tougher to work for a constuction company, then get hired as a fire fighter then have to go to the construction job and say i need a day off every 2 days.


    just my .02 but hope it helps some

  8. #8
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    BUT...and that's a BIG BUT, it's not that easy to get on a career department. It make take a couple years. Stay in school and test at every full time department that you can while you're still in school. If you're lucky enough to get on a department, they'll send you to fire academy. If you get done with construction classes and don't have a fire job yet, take the construction job, go to fire classes, too. Many are evening and if you're on a volunteer department they may even pay your way.
    Good Luck.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

  9. #9
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    If you are a union firefighter you are the biggest hypocrit when you scab construction jobs.
    BE A BACKBONE - NOT A JAWBONE

  10. #10
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    Default And here's a problem...

    When I was on the job in Chicago, I worked with far too many guys who were more worried about whether or not they were going to get enough sleep before they went to their side jobs the next day. This is part of the problem with the fire service today, is too many guys worrying about "when do we get paid, when are my days off, and will I get enough sleep to go to my side job?" and not enough guys who are just happy to be career service firemen.

  11. #11
    Forum Member CooterRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deihs11 View Post
    thanks guys! this has helped out alot!

    how would you suggest starting both careers? (thats a wierd question, not sure how to ask it thought...) what i'm trying to get at is, should i get on a department first, and go through the academy (so that i wouldnt' be missing work) and then find a job in construction? or get a job in construction first (since i'm paying out the ***** for a college degree), and then try and get on a department?
    go for the fire dept. with the economy that way it is... the near future isn't bright for the trades.

    If you have your EMT-B go work for a private ambulance service, get your medic and then start testing. I'm assuming you have your IL FF-II and such out of the way? Most well paying and better career depts. in IL (at least up my way) are requiring FF-II and Paramedic, MINIMUM.
    Last edited by CooterRob; 12-07-2008 at 07:29 PM.
    "I don't wanna hear about it... I wanna see results!!!":-P

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