I am posting to ask about my plans in terms of how I proceed with my desires to become a paid firefighter and to also ask about the High School Fire Academy Program. I am a junior in high school and am 16 years of age. Last Spring I figured out that firefighting is what I want to dedicate not only my career to, but also my life. I want to say that I've made this Earth a better place since I've been here when I inevitably leave it.

Anyways, My high school,and also all Montgomery County Maryland High Schools offer internships into the Fire Academy. You can take one year of Firefighter I and Firefighter II training combined, and one year of EMT. I am a junior and due to my schedule, could not take firefighting this year, not to mention I was unaware that EMT was also offered. It is about 2 1/2 hours everyday during school hours at the Rockville, MD Fire Academy. It counts as college credit too, at least at the close-by community college.

So my reason for posting is to ask what exactly is this Academy like for high schoolers? I am 100% dedicated and 100% excited which is why I am so curious about the subject. Also, is it better to take the Firefighting class or the EMT class, considering I won't be able to do both in High School? Most people do the Firefighting and then EMT but, just want your opinions.

I have also purchased "The Aspiring Firefighter's 2 year-plan", as well as "Report from Enginge Co. 82" and "Get Firefighter Fit" to supplement myself as best as possible. I also have a strong passion for writing, and I plan to go into journalism in college. I play Lacrosse and Soccer, and my lacrosse workouts are very similar to those workouts in my firefighting workout book. Anyways, from all the research I've done, it seems as if the best direction to take is as follows.

-Complete Firefighter I and Firefighter II senior year in high school at Fire Academy

-Go to Four Year College to major in Journalism and minor in (undecided)

-Go to Community College and get Fire Science degree (or some sort of firefighting class)

(I'm not sure which order to put those college ambitions in)

-Volunteer ASAP

_Catch on with a station and became a professional firefighter

I know it won't be easy, but I am more than willing. Anyways any suggestions, questions,comments, concerns, opposing ideas, or anything of the sort to what my plans are? The book "The Aspiring Firefighter's 2 year plan" is a very helpful book and I believe for people like me that it is essential. I would like your ideas, as you can offer just as much knowledge if not more. Thank You and God Bless. I am optimistic I will be in the same boat as you all soon.

-Mike Kiriakou