1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2008

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

    I've posted this on other sections, so I apologize if I come off as annoying, I just want as many replies as possible.

    I'm 16, and seriously considering pursuing a career in Firefighting, and I had some questions about the whole process. I plan on attending 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.


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    FGVFD459's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Fort Gay, West Virginia


    just be cool and relax, a fire chief or captain can tell when you are nervous. just take a deep breath and listen to me and what i have to say. i will help you out. if you have any more questions, email me at fort_gay_459@verizon.net, sound alright.
    first off, start out as a explorer/junior firefighter like you said. i did, and trust me, it really helped me out alot, you dont even know. dont just into career, stick with volunteer for about a year, year and a half. that will help out a lot. if you start out as career, you expected to do more than if you were a volunteer, and if you turn out not to like it as much as you thought, you are still expected to be there. and starting out as a volunteer, dont worry about your emt right off of the bat, give it some time. FF1&2 is offered at your fire department or a surrounding department. if i am not mistaking, you have to be on a fire department for a certian amount of time before you can get it anyway, but i dont know how it works where you are at. another thing that you must understand is that all fire departments are different. in cities, your fighting fires in sky scrapers, in towns, more houses, and in the country, well, brush fires or forest fires. they are all different. as for fire sciene, not all departments require it, but it would make you look better to get it, but dont put your self through too much. just take it easy and make sure that you like it first. volunteer fire department do not require anything really. not even a high school diploma is needed. most that is. just go with the flow, and give it a shot. you cant start career until you are 21 anyway, so lets focus more on volunteer here, on the present. the fire department helps by offering you all of the classes that you need to get your certifications, you just need to discuss that with them, and they can set you up if you talk to them soon enough. start out into an explorer/junior now, than move into probie. youll here that term alot, or youll here the term rookie, but they are pretty much the same thing. stay in high school, and go for the juniors for right now. if you want to hit me back, write me back on my email that i gave you on the top of the messege. let me know how it works out for you, and good luck.
    FFDavis459 FortGayVFD

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Welcome to the site. You will find it is full of information to guide you toward a career in the fire service. Let me try to answer some of your questions:

    EMT - yes, take it (although you may be too young at 16). You can start by taking a CPR and First Aid course. These are often pre-requisites for the EMT course. 85% of all of the calls we respond to are EMS calls. You will find EMT to be a HUGE feather in your cap, particularly in rural areas.

    I encourage you to knock on the door of the local fire station and seek their guidance. They will definitely point you in the right direction.

    Stay in school and GET GOOD GRADES. We expect our firefighters to be able to read and write.

    Keep a clean background. Firefighters do not do drugs and do not have criminal records. Your mother is right; you are defined by the company you keep.

    DO NOT get a visible tattoo. Many departmnets have policies against hiring firefighters with visible tattoos.

    Lastly, I am glad to hear that you have purchased my books. I hope you enjoy them. Pay particular to the chapter in The Aspiring Firefighter's Two Year Plan that outlines how to get hired in the fire service.
    Best of luck to you
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    FIGHTING3rd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    WOW, are you 'jacked-up'.

    First finish High School, then do What the Capt. said.

    Lastly, always stay cool under pressure.

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