1. #1
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    Default Help.. SO many questions..

    Alright, so im 17 years old about to start my senior year in high school..
    I have been thinking about my future alot and what career i want, and i really wanted to join the coast guard..
    but im sort of having second thoughts, and dont really know what i want..

    fire fighting has always been a thought..
    but i just want all the details for it..

    I really do not want to live in jacksonville anymore which was another reason why i wanted to join the coast guard, to get away..

    but other than that i mean what do i really need to do?
    how many years of college do i need to become a firefighter?
    what courses?

    and while im taking these courses am i still doing some work with a department or no? will i not be getting paid for it until i actually finish all of my years of college for it?

    plenty more questions.. please help..
    thanks.

  2. #2
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    Hey Dylan...welcome to the forums!!! First, let me say, FF is a great career, but it's not for everyone. Only you can decide if it's going to be something you want to pursue.

    It is alot of hard work, but the satisfaction is well worth it. Being 17, you're already ahead of alot of the guys here (including myself) who only recently got into the art.

    With that being said, getting any kind of military under your feet will certainly help you in the teaching of discipline, which goes hand in hand with FF. But, it's NOT necessary. Again, that's a personal decision. I never was interested in the military personally.

    As far as schooling goes, alot of departments like to see some college, but again it's not necessary. Also, each city has its own criteria for applying. Some want you to be state certified and an EMT, others just want a HS diploma or equivalent. That's something you'll need to look into with whatever city or county you apply with.

    I know there's alot that goes into choosing a career, especially when you consider it from a "lifetime" point of view. But I will say that very few people regret getting into the fire service. It really is a great line of work that allows you to do some great things with some great people.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
    Pete

  3. #3
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    ffmedcbk1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DylanFla View Post
    Alright, so im 17 years old about to start my senior year in high school..
    I have been thinking about my future alot and what career i want, and i really wanted to join the coast guard..
    but im sort of having second thoughts, and dont really know what i want..

    fire fighting has always been a thought..
    but i just want all the details for it..

    I really do not want to live in jacksonville anymore which was another reason why i wanted to join the coast guard, to get away..

    but other than that i mean what do i really need to do?
    how many years of college do i need to become a firefighter?
    what courses?

    and while im taking these courses am i still doing some work with a department or no? will i not be getting paid for it until i actually finish all of my years of college for it?

    plenty more questions.. please help..
    thanks.
    Have you been to the local firehouse and asked them about the job? I am pretty sure they would like to help you in your decision process. A great hing some communities have are the Explorer/Cadet programs or just a simple ride-a-long for a shift.

    The military is not for everyone but for alot of us (including myself) have found it beneficial to guiding us in our lives. It gives discipline, some good friends, and a fresh start (if that is what you need).

    As far as starting out, the firefighter 2 classes (contact the your local trade school/ community college / state fire academy for the highest level for inital training) and look at the EMT-Basic classes as a starter. But be sure this is what you want to do prior to spending the $$$. These are the starting steps of being a firefighter. If it isn't the career you are looking for, think of doing it volunteer also. There is also industrial, search and rescue groups, wildland ff'ing, and a many more arena's of disciplines and careers in the service.

    Take care.
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

  4. #4
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    A fire based education should not be your first mission. It's always a consideration, but before you do anything, determine if this is the job for you. If you know the job, you know you can do it, and you know you're willing to go the distance to get there... then you will. Your pursuit for education will simply be a byproduct of that.

    A couple ways to do this are:

    Ride alongs. Find a department in your area that supports them. You may need to be 18 before they'll let you, but this is one of the best ways to really get a feel for the job.

    Volunteer if and when you can.

    Join the explorers or cadet programs.

    The above have all been mentioned by others, but sometimes you need to hear it over and over again before putting your faith in another persons opinion.

    I produced a documentary on the fire academy experience. It also gives great insight to what the job is really like. You can see more about it by watching these youtube videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skr6dnxaqiw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv6JxE9efeE

    Good luck in your decision.

    Rob Bieber
    www.firewerxfilms.com

  5. #5
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    If you decide to join the Coast Guard, have them put you through medic school. Many large, desireable depts favor those with a P-Card. It'll increase your odds of being hired dramatically. If the USCG trains you to be a medic, and you decide that it's not for you, then you've lost nothing anyway. Without your medic getting on at a quality dept for the next several years(economy) will be dismal.

    FF1 and 2 aren't necessary for most large depts, as they'll train you to that level themselves. You may also receive EMT-B as well. Your time would be better spent getting a college degree is something useful, and going to medic school if you feel that you would enjoy that side of things. Volunteering or doing ride alongs are highly recommended to see if you'd like the field.

    If you do decide to go after your FF1 and 2 you may be able to get on with a Dept. of Defense (DoD) as a FF. Their schedules suck, typically a 72 hour workweek, but it's good a resume builder until you can get on at a decent municipal FD. Check out www.usajobs.gov

  6. #6
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    Stay in school, finish high school. Apply for a college away from J-ville. Go to college get a degree and then you will have time for the fire service.

    Going into the Coast Guard is good as most assignments are state side and it would help you grow up and understand structure and discipline.

    Most large career departments will look at you military experience and give you points on the application for serving this nation in the service, but in most cases you will have to complete the full recruit courses, regardless of what certification you may process.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  7. #7
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    So many questions, find some answers here- www.eatstress.com

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