1. #1

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    Default I'm confused about the whole process. Please help.

    I'm 16, and seriously considering pursuing a career in Firefighting, and I had some questions about the whole process. I'm probably going to go to Johnson County CC in Olathe, KS if that helps any.

    First off, I know I need my EMT, and I know I want atleast an Associates in Fire Science, but what exactly are Firefighter I and II, and are those college classes, or do you take them from some kind of private organization to recieve your certification? Do you have to go to a Fire Academy to become a career Firefighter?

    What are the usual requirements for a volunteer Firefighter, and can I do that while I get my Fire Science degree?

    What other kinds of certifications should I go after to ensure that I have an edge on the other applicants when I finally apply to become a career Firefighter?

    Where should I start after HS, and what's a good order to acquire everything in?

    I'm going to start right now by becoming a Junior Firefighter at my local station, and getting the books Essentials of Fire Fighting, The Aspiring Firefighter's Two-Year Plan, Smoke Your Firefighter Written Exam, and Smoke Your Firefighter Interview and start devouring as much information as I can.

    Thanks.

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    Several things:
    1. Join the Military. Being a veteran will help you the most by far to gain access the the greatest job on earth. (or most others).
    2. Forget about all the "jr." stuff. It wont matter.
    3. F.F. 1 is useless, FF 2 is what professionals are. (it is the level you have after at least 240 hrs of training) in an academy.
    4. Get your medic or intermediate emt. Paramedic is most helpful.
    5. The best advice is this....: Join the Military, serve 4 years, get out, test for the city of your choice (you may need your medic first).
    Keep testing, you (if you really try hard) will make it. It may take many tries.
    The fire science degree wont help either.
    Dont become a vollie, that will hurt more than help.
    Note:
    I tested for 3 Dept's before i got my professional firefighting career.
    Actually the first three i did well, they just had hiring freezes going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alecshawn1 View Post
    Several things:
    1. Join the Military. Being a veteran will help you the most by far to gain access the the greatest job on earth. (or most others).
    2. Forget about all the "jr." stuff. It wont matter.
    3. F.F. 1 is useless, FF 2 is what professionals are. (it is the level you have after at least 240 hrs of training) in an academy.
    4. Get your medic or intermediate emt. Paramedic is most helpful.
    5. The best advice is this....: Join the Military, serve 4 years, get out, test for the city of your choice (you may need your medic first).
    Keep testing, you (if you really try hard) will make it. It may take many tries.
    The fire science degree wont help either.
    Dont become a vollie, that will hurt more than help.
    Note:
    I tested for 3 Dept's before i got my professional firefighting career.
    Actually the first three i did well, they just had hiring freezes going on.
    I agree with all except the volly part. If he has to go before an interview board, experiance and demonstrated desire for the job will count a lot. Plus he might learn it is not actually the job he wants in life.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    First you don't need to go into the service. Most departments give credit for paramedic. The credit is only given after passing the written test. If you truly want to get a job as a firefighter. You need to get your firefighter 2 and paramedic certification. Departments also like it if you have a degree. Take as many test as you can even while you are taking these classes. I have been a firefighter/paramedic for 14 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alecshawn1 View Post
    The fire science degree wont help either.
    Dont become a vollie, that will hurt more than help.
    Are you another volly hater? And while we are at it, do you have a dislike of educated candidates as well???

    Don't listen to this moron. First of all, becoming a volly will give you a lot of experience and get you a little bit of understanding in what is involved in the job. Whether or not you are a member of a busy company is a moot point- you still will get a view of your potential future. In addition, Volunteer Experience can and does count towards certain types of career positions, such as a Federal Firefighting position. Some big city departments such as FDNY or Philadelphia would rather you had no experience or training....So that they can "mold you in their own methods." But that doesnt mean you can't volly- Just "play dumb" at their Fire Academies.

    FDNY, among other departments, require college credits. So why not get a degree in Fire Science???
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Are you another volly hater? And while we are at it, do you have a dislike of educated candidates as well???

    Don't listen to this moron. First of all, becoming a volly will give you a lot of experience and get you a little bit of understanding in what is involved in the job. Whether or not you are a member of a busy company is a moot point- you still will get a view of your potential future. In addition, Volunteer Experience can and does count towards certain types of career positions, such as a Federal Firefighting position. Some big city departments such as FDNY or Philadelphia would rather you had no experience or training....So that they can "mold you in their own methods." But that doesnt mean you can't volly- Just "play dumb" at their Fire Academies.

    FDNY, among other departments, require college credits. So why not get a degree in Fire Science???
    Go to Columbus, Cincy, Toledo, Cleveland, Newark, Marietta, Dayton, Canton and the list goes on and on......
    None of them give a hoot about "prior vollies" It would be like trying out for the Dodgers and saying " i played softball for the city league last year!"
    No one cares. The "veteran" status is a proven winner. There is a reason that a plurality of Cops,Fire,State Patrol are prior military. Id say 60% of our dept. "Toledo" are Vets.

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    Blindside, some of what AlecShawn says is correct for most areas, and some of it is based on his geographic location.

    My department runs two recruit schools per year, and of the twentyish people in each one, we usually have 4 or 5 with military backgrounds. Usually about 50% of the class was or still is a volunteer. Neither of these things help OR hurt you in right off the bat, but in the case that your scores and interviews were in-line with someone without these credentials, you might stand a little better chance.

    FWD is right about the volunteer department helping you better understand the roles and responsibilities of a career firefighter. However, if you get hired, don't go into the recruit school thinking, "well, I've already had this training, I've been a volunteer for X number of years." There is no comparison. I say this as both a volunteer officer, career officer, and a guy that was an academy instructor for three years.

    Should you elect NOT to go into the military, go to college and get at least a TWO YEAR degree, but try to make it four. Fire science degree? Eh, if you'd like to. However, think what your limitations are with that field of study versus something like business administration in case you don't get hired, get hurt on the job, etc.

    There are a lot of crusty old jakes that say that college educated folks don't belong in the fire service. They're entitled to their opinions, but when you look at national trends, you can see where we're headed.
    Career Fire Captain
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    Quote Originally Posted by alecshawn1 View Post
    Go to Columbus, Cincy, Toledo, Cleveland, Newark, Marietta, Dayton, Canton and the list goes on and on......
    None of them give a hoot about "prior vollies" It would be like trying out for the Dodgers and saying " i played softball for the city league last year!"
    No one cares. The "veteran" status is a proven winner. There is a reason that a plurality of Cops,Fire,State Patrol are prior military. Id say 60% of our dept. "Toledo" are Vets.
    Just because it might not provide points towards being hired, does not mean it won't help him out in the process. You need to get your asss out of Ohio. Military is a great idea, but getting a look at the actual job is a good one too and will in no way hurt his chances at being hired anywhere.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  9. #9

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    Default Confused

    well theres alot to be confused about first of all replying to someone elses comment about the volunteer side its not useless it will help you in the long run with the experience side when applying for a paid Dept. I spent 10 years on the volunteer side and then applied for a paid position I got hired immediately just because I was already certified as far as the ff1 & ff2 they are national certifications most states have gone to those classes some still are old school and have there own training and dont accept the ff1 & ff2 as far as the EMT side yes its helpful but in the state where I'm from most Depts. are still old school Fire Some are begining to converge to fire & Rescue

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    Thank you all very much for being so helpful.

    I'm still undecided as to whether I want to go into the Air Force, or go to college and get a Fire Science degree, hold a job and be a volly at the same time. That's alot to juggle, but I'll do almost anything to become a career FF.

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    Thank you all for being so imformative and helpful.

    I think the college option is what I'm going to go with. This puts alot on my plate because I see being a volunteer as a free education, who cares if I don't get credit for it. It's the knowledge that counts.

    I'll also need to have a job, so it's probably going to be REALLY tough juggling those three, but I'm at the point where I'd do almost anything to have a career in this field.

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    Blindside,
    Join the NAVY, get rated as a Firefighter, learn the trade, see ports you'll NEVER go to in the Air Force. Get your IFSAC certs, as well as EMT, when your finished with the NAV, test at the department of your choice, and a few more. Use your G.I. Bill to pay for your Fire Science degree. Most important, talk to a recruiter, get guaranteed an 'A' school... just a little NAVVET wisdom.
    Good Luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FSRIZZIO View Post
    Blindside,
    Join the NAVY, get rated as a Firefighter, learn the trade, see ports you'll NEVER go to in the Air Force. Get your IFSAC certs, as well as EMT, when your finished with the NAV, test at the department of your choice, and a few more. Use your G.I. Bill to pay for your Fire Science degree. Most important, talk to a recruiter, get guaranteed an 'A' school... just a little NAVVET wisdom.
    Good Luck!
    The way that EMS has become a part of the job in most departments, serving as a Corpsman will help him the most as their are many opportunities to get his EMT-P or EMT-I out in the Fleet.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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