Hello all! My name is Mike and I am new to

I am in the Military and I am considering retirement in '09. I should really say I am considering transitioning from the Military to Civilian life since one can not financially retire from the Military. I've been in the Military for 22yrs now and would like to start a new exciting career with the fire service.

I am worried that my age may be a discriminating factor in the hiring process (I'll be 40 in March '09). My friend who is a PA officer with SFFD says there is no age limit.

I have taken a CPAT orientation/practice run in Sacramento and passed the practice run w/2 min to spare. I am scheduled to officially test next month. I am lined up to take my EMT course in Feb. I plan on utilizing my one time certification tuition assistance ($9K) to obtain my paramedic cert.

I put in an application with the San Francisco Fire Dept and plan on taking my aptitude test in the near future. I checked out a test prep book from the library on base and will be boning up on applicable material. Oh, by the way I found out there are 10K applicants for only 200 jobs. I am staying positive about it anyways!

My question or solicitation for advice is how is someone exiting from the military after 22 years of service perceived by station personnel? Has anyone else made the same career path change? I appreciate any advice in advance. Thanks a million!