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  1. #1

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    Default Age limits and getting on a dept.

    Hello!

    I am new here and figured this is the best place to start for this question. After years of being lost in the world and not knowing what my calling was.......I fell into the firefihter/medic role at a late age. I am 39.....I am about to finish up all my classes and take state exam. I already am EMT-B and I will be attending medic school in Fall.

    My question is this....I live in Chicago where the age limit is 35. I have just gotten on a department but it is POC and volunter. Are budget is so small for this town that we just got a thing passed for ALS to pick up 3 medics and not until 2010. I want to get onto a dept here and want to know is there anyway around this age limit thing? I am 39 but as all of us we feel like we are 21 at times. I am in good shape and can pass any test.

    Also this another question that comes to mind......school I go a different route in the system.......can I do that? Or should I start looking at other states for this??

    I dont think age should be an issue. So any help anyone can give me please let me know..............thanks again in advance. Confussed


  2. #2

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    Default Hello

    All I know is that one of my friends was recently hired by a department in Arizona at the age of 39. So it can be done. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Default

    there was a recent article in chief magazine about this.

    a number of depts across the country had old age limits writen into job descriptions.

    A couple of guys sued on age discrimination basis and won the right to join the dept (they had passed all the test the "young" guys had) In doing so they removed the age limit wording from a number of the depts job descriptions/requirements.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I completed Paramedic school and graduated at 39.

    Sure, the young pups have "youthful energy" over you, but you have maturity and a work ethic they weren't raised with.

    Nowadays these guys don't see the need for "traditions" and "the old ways".
    They think wearing t-shirts instead of uniforms is no big deal.
    They think acting like the general public while on duty is acceptable.
    Many are just like school children and really put out a bad image.

    We need older guys to temper this generation and show them how to conduct our business.

    Don't let your age make you stammer.
    It's only a number.

    Professionalism and ability are more important.

  5. #5
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    Like so many other employment variables, age is relative. We recently hired a 38YO, and he can work and run circles around most of the 19YO kids here. All our candidates complete a physical agility test as part of pre-employment screening.

    Honestly, there are times when I will recommend an inexperienced mature person who is physically fit over a candidate who might be 20 years younger with experience.

    Most fire departments find teaching firefighter skills a lot easier than developing psychological maturity.

    C6

  6. #6
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    Default Not all young pups are bad

    Sure i think if you can do the job then it shouldn't matter how old you are (in reason). Yes Marion alot of the so called young pups are disrepectful to the old ways and tradations of the fire service, but not all i myself am a 3rd genaration firefighter so i do understand the old ways and was raised to respect my elders and wear my uniform with pride. As far as acting like the gen. public while on duty, i am appaled by the very thaught of any firefighter doing so regardless of age.

  7. #7
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    I have a hard time believing that departments now days still have age limit requirements. Our jobs should be based on qualifications, standards and competency. I always suggest that the fastest way through the door is EMS and Paramedic training. National standards or registry should be acceptable through the states and most departments will require you to attend their recruity academy regardless of your fire experience. Good Luck!!

  8. #8
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    In IL the age limit has to do with the pension system. Some pension boards in IL have lifted the max age req but many still have it. The pension system rules come from state complied statute but since ur in the burbs check with the private contract services that some dept's use.

  9. #9
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up And.............

    A Montana Court just found the Montana Age Limit to be Discriminatory. A few others already have, and more are coming, so Age limits should be gone in a few more years.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  10. #10
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    Default

    I can understand your pain, and frustration. I live in Cleveland and just found out they put a limit on their next test. For the longest time they never had an age cap on it but now they set it at 35 by time of the academy. I am 34... and no test scheduled until I am 35.

    I have 10 years of experience and only an Ohio FF1 and an EMT-B... because of the budgetary confienes of myself and the dept I work for I cant get my FF2, but I can function as one from the training I have recieved. I am running into IFSAC and PROBOARD stuff all the time applying for jobs... Best of luck, I am applying out of state and hoping something bites...

  11. #11
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    Default

    Doug, Solon is giving a test. I'm not sure what their age limit is or what they require

  12. #12
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    A Montana Court just found the Montana Age Limit to be Discriminatory. A few others already have, and more are coming, so Age limits should be gone in a few more years.


    See what happens when an older fellow gets hired? He is a chief.

    This old bird and I have been around the block several times and still can hold our own!

    As someone said some states has rules regarding pensions. That is if they hire a 35 year old, they will be ready to retire at 55 or 60 in some places. I think New Yark and New Jersey are like that as well as Illinois.

    Harve lets show these youngins a couple of things or two.

    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  13. #13
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Yeah..................

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    See what happens when an older fellow gets hired? He is a chief.

    This old bird and I have been around the block several times and still can hold our own!

    As someone said some states has rules regarding pensions. That is if they hire a 35 year old, they will be ready to retire at 55 or 60 in some places. I think New Yark and New Jersey are like that as well as Illinois.

    Harve lets show these youngins a couple of things or two.


    And we certainly could............ Y'know, this whole thing amazes me. Retirement is thrown up as "THE" thing to be concerned about, but there could be changes in the Retirement System to allow for more Flexibility in workers ages. For instance, PGFD allows you to retire with 20 years service, which I did. BUT, you must retire at age 55. My idea would be to allow folks to retire at 20 years service, with no maximum age. You could get hired at 40 and retire at 60, theoretically. Another thing, is Retirement really that important?? Hear me out: I worked 20 years and retired with 50% of the last full year that I worked. I also paid into Social Security on every job that I ever had. I now collect on Both. Folks who try to get on a FD at 35, 40, 45 years old have already paid quite a few years into SS, so if they don't make the FD Retirement parameters, they still have something coming.


    Back to "The Youngins".......... Drill the other day, I got the "Looney Gun" out to play for a bit. The newbies looked at me with that "Oh MY God" expression when I said that we were going to flow a bit of water. (The Looney Gun is a 4 ft. long piece of 3inch high tensile Aluminum Pipe with a Gate and Nozzle on one end and a 45*elbow and a Siamese on the other.) After the 3 inc line was charged, I opened the gate and walked that sucker across the ramp, by myself, while flowing about 400 gpm..........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  14. #14
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    Default

    Louisiana is 36 Sorry

  15. #15
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    Default

    MarionMedic;

    First, it's absolutely ridiculous that you would say that about a younger generation just because they're YOUNGER.
    Second, most see the "need for tradition", it just unfortunately can not always be done "traditionally" if you want a progressive department.
    Third, uniforms makes absolutely no difference, department policy dictates that.
    Forth, the way they act frequently is based on what they've seen since they've been in emergency services from the older generation.
    Fifth, as for school children, I'm sure the only reason you say that is because the younger generation is regularly attending training and are eager to learn, just not always the "traditional" way.
    Last edited by rural457; 09-13-2009 at 12:33 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default

    Dist ..

    Louisiana's state pension system's maximum age is 50.

    I was just hired at 49 by my department so I snuck in just under the bar.

    Most of the career departments have a maximum age of 35 or 36, but those are department policies, not the pension system's policy.

  17. #17
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    Default

    Civil Service departments in Texas will not test anyone over the age of 35.

  18. #18
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    Cool Age limits

    I know that some states do set limits, although as you guys are pointing out, more of these old cutoffs are being challenged everyday.. I am a 37yo female and actively looking for a career department to call my own in Colorado. My husband tried to tell me that it's a waste of time to apply to big city departments like Denver but I have heard of several guys in their forties who have been hired there. Loveland has also hired people in their 30's and 40's. Life experience and maturity is a plus for older candidates (you hope they have it anyway!). I'd like to think that I am judged for my attitude and ability to accomplish my goals then how old I am. If it's about being in shape, isn't that what the CPAT is for?

  19. #19
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    Smile

    There are very few agencies that are career that have age limits, usually like your big citys like FDNY. To all the old farts out there they have to get over it and understand that the newer technology and advancements are great. That sometimes you dont need to do crap the old way but the new way. I dont care what my station did in the 70's, know im not dissing any traditions at all my comany is in full bdu's badges and all, but these young pups will be chief in a few yeras so all the old farts need to back off and let us so called "young pups" show what we have to offer i mean hey maybe we both could show each other a thing or two in the fire service.
    Josh Bean
    FF/EMT

  20. #20
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    Default

    The age limit is not only bad for the older people, but it's kinda a bummer for the younger one's too. I am 18 and had my EMT-B and Firefighter II and Hazmat Ops before I even graduated from high school. No departments that are hiring in Illinois hire below 21, so now I am going for my medic, but I will have that when I turn 20 so I will still have to wait at least half a year.
    Sincerely,

    JuniorAFPD
    juniorafpd@gmail.com

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