ALCON,

Hello all! My name is Mike and I am new to Firehouse.com. I am in the Military and 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 and would like to start a new exciting career with the fire service.

I am concerned that my age may be a discriminating factor in the hiring process (I'll be 40 in March '09). I have taken a CPAT orientation/practice run in Sacramento and passed the practice run w/2 min to spare. 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. A bit discouraging but, I am staying positive about it!

My question or solicitation for advice is how is someone exiting from the military after 22 years of service perceived by station personnel should he/she be hired on? Has anyone else made the same career path change?