I need some advice.

I am almost 21 years old and I don't know what I want to do. I am in community college (a little behind due to a few bad semesters and a year break) studying Communications. I'm not sure what I want to do with this major, I just know I love writing and have heard that Communications is generally better than English.

Lately, I have been thinking about almost NOTHING but becoming a firefighter.

A few weeks ago, this idea popped into my head out of nowhere; to stop wasting my time and money in school for something that I'm not sure I want to do and start training to be a firefighter. I've always wanted a job where I can help people (dentist, teacher, Peace Corps volunteer, etc.) and I can't think of a more rewarding career than this.

I almost feel as if NOT perusing this will leave me regretful and unhappy for the rest of my life..

I've been doing some basic research and everything I'm hearing strengthens my desire to do this. Not only would I have a job which allows me to truly help people in need, but I would be forced to keep in shape and quit smoking cigarettes for good, have great benefits, AND have time during the week where I could write and take care of myself.

I am afraid though. Maybe you guys could help me out by answering these questions for me and giving me some advice.

-How long is the process of becoming a career fireman, from ZERO qualifications save 2 years of college, to fully prepared and ready for hiring?

-Do any of you ever regret your career choice? Did you have doubts at first?

-How is the pay? Can you support yourselves and families fairly easily?

-Do you think I'm just romanticizing this whole thing, or should I go for it?

I know this is pretty long, but thanks for anyone who gives me input.