1. #1
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    Default Why firefighting?

    Hello everyone,
    I am a sixteen year old student and I am wondering, what made all of you firefighters decide to fight fire? I am at a bridge where my parents want me to be a lawyer, and I listen to them, but I myself can not see myself doing that every day of my life. I have worked in a law office and I can assure you it is not like T.V. Aside from that, ultimately when your wife crashes to the floor who would you rather be, a lawyer or a firefighter/paramedic?

    I realize that the first words out of your mouth's will be, "Be an explorer." I plan on that, but recruitment is closed until November.

    So what made you want to be a firefighter?

    [If there are any grammar errors please tell me, I am working on it.]

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    My Dad was a firefighter. I liked the whole front row being full of Mack CF pumpers. All of my Dad's friends were firefighters and they were the Dads of my friends. It just seemed a natural progression for me to become a firefighter.

    I love it. I enjoy the challenges, which today mean far more than fire.

    Do become an explorer. See if it gets into your blood and if it is what you really want. Your parents believe they are doing what is best for your future, but in the end, it is your life and only you get to decide which career path to follow.

    Good luck.

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    As a child, I lived across the street from my town's HQ station.

    In my teenage years, one of my best friends lived next to a firehouse.

    I had a few friends who's fathers were on the job.

    I had an uncle who served on the Flagstaff AZ FD for 20+ years.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    It's all Johnny & Roy's fault.

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    There can be a lot of competion for Full time jobs as FF. But can be quite well paid for a blue collar job.

    There has been a large glut of lawyers nationwide for years. You'll likely have a HUGE amount school debt when you get thru law school and unless you're in the top 50% you be lucky to find a job as a lawyer. If you're in the top 10% you might find a position that also pays well (unless it's 2009 when there is little hiring at all). And you'll be in a job that is essentially useless/a societial parasite. While most people need a lawyer as some time no one wants to see one (or to blow the pile of $ when they do). If you have the brains to get thru law school you certainly can find more productive and lucrative employment.

    As a FF you'll typically be well regarded by the public, and while again no one wants to see you up close and personal you're usually REALLY appreciated when you arrive. Worth something. Or do as a vol (lawyer or other).

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    Default why firefighting?

    Info10 has it right - too many lawyers and not enough FF jobs to go around for all those who want one...

    but there is an option - the way the health care system is progressing in this country - hospitals closing and the open ones getting further apart - the role of a paramedic is getting more and more important. Local governments will probably be adding these positions - more and more FD's are requiring EMT as a pre req, so they see it coming. They can justify keeping these jobs in tough economic times because they are normally busier than a FF.

    my recommendation woudl be to move towards the paramedics field - a lot of the same excitement - maybe even more!!! And who knows you may fall for medicine and want to be a dr....bet mom and dad wouldnt say no to that!

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    They actually did say no to doctor.

    Anyway, thank you all for your responses, interesting reasons and I would like more people to respond if you all don't mind.

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    i have lived near a firehouse my whole life but because i am in a wheelchair i cant help hands on but i did join as a support member and it means alot to me that i am respected just try your best and you will live up to your goals

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    If my wife crashed to the floor, I would want to be a healthy man married to a very rich woman.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    It's all Johnny & Roy's fault.
    10/4 KMG365


    Well in reality I only got into "Emergency!" after I wanted to become a firefighter.

    Pretty much my story is I wanted to help people. I was looking at becoming a helicopter pilot for the Coast Guard and even went so far to work towards getting into their Academy. But I saw a set of bunker gear in the trunk of a friends car and asked him about it. Got interested and joined explorers and now I am a volly firefighter.


    Oh and why no to doctor if I may ask?

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    I just liked the lights and sirens!!!

    Would I do it all over again?? Without a doubt!

    Do I worry about not having a job every time I walk through the door? You damn right!

    Haven't heard to many Lawyer's losing their jobs.
    A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

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    Default Who's fault

    I'm older ......it was Jim Davis and Lang Jefferies' fault. They had Rescue 8.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
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    About no doctor, that is much much much to long and expensive, so they say no to that.

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    After what I just paid my lawyer, be a lawyer.

    The jackass said to me the other day, "I should have been a fireman." My response was, "I should have been a lawyer."
    This space for rent

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    I'm older ......it was Jim Davis and Lang Jefferies' fault. They had Rescue 8.
    I remember Rescue 8... now that's a blast from the past!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost02 View Post
    I have worked in a law office and I can assure you it is not like T.V.

    Same goes for the firehouse most days.

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    My dad was a founding member of a local volunteer department back in the 1950's so I grew up watching him go to fire calls and playing with his rubber coat and helmet as a wee child. I would be the little kid playing on the trucks at the station a lot of the time. Then I got to watching the show "Emergency!" in grade school and was hooked ever since. I would get off the bus a few blocks earlier so I could run home and watch it. As I got older I would ride my bike after the fire trucks when they would go out on calls.

    Then I got to be your age and joined the explorer post. The rest is history.

    My suggestion to you is first join your local explorer post. Then, maintain at least a C average in school but try for an A or B average with all your classes. Stay out of trouble, any sort of criminal record would be bad. Take elective math and science classes, contrary to popular belief at 16 years old, they WILL come in handy in adulthood.

    Then go to a good college with a good fire program. Get at least an associates degree. Most departments now require this if not more. Also be at least an EMT, if not paramedic. In most places, EMS will be about 50%-80% of the job. While you are going to school, join a volunteer department to get some experience.

    No matter what you do, if you become a lawyer or firefighter or whatever, stay focused, yet have fun doing it. Your career choice is yours, not for anyone else.
    Jason Knecht
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    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

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    Although I am not myself a FF, I would like to say to you that if you decide what to do in your life by yourself, you could be an happier man than if someone else has decided for you. Consider that 16 years is enough to say no to an imposed choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    If my wife crashed to the floor, I would want to be a healthy man married to a very rich woman.
    Classic

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    It's all Johnny & Roy's fault.
    DITTO DITTO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giovanni012 View Post
    Consider that 16 years is enough to say no to an imposed choice.
    Good point, but going against my parents is something I never do.

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    "I am a sixteen year old student and I am wondering, what made all of you firefighters decide to fight fire? I am at a bridge where my parents want me to be a lawyer, and I listen to them, but I myself can not see myself doing that every day of my life. I have worked in a law office and I can assure you it is not like T.V."
    Ghost02:
    As a member of the “Over The Hill Gang” and drawing SS money from the rest of these guys, I’ll weigh in on the discussion. First you will need to develop an outlook on life that will allow you to keep your sanity when all the rats and cockroaches are running out the back door. This you will only develop with a healthy dose of training and experience. The experience must include working shoulder to shoulder with the guys who just might need to bail your butt out when things go into the toilet. Despite learning all you can about the entire scope of firefighting, you and your partners will occasionally encounter situations where the decisions you make aren’t exactly what should have been done at that particular moment. (Human nature, knowledge, training and experience – plus – your mental agility to process a thousand “what ifs” and come to a workable decision) There is always a better way, just listen to the Monday Morning Quarterbacks who have had hours or days to analyze the decision you made in a split second.
    In all human endeavors, each bit you learn about a process will open other avenues that must be explored. You will eventually learn that “The more you learn the dumber you find out you are.” The fire service is a unique occupation or avocation in that the knowledge base includes nearly every human endeavor. Chemistry, physics, mathematics, electronics, medical knowledge and psychology are all employed under some rapidly changing and dangerous conditions. If you love a challenge to your abilities and welcome a lifetime of learning, this is the business for you. The benefits can be equally rewarding from pride in a job well done to the camaraderie of fellow firefighters who expect that you will pass through hell itself to bail out their sorry butts when the S*** hits the fan. You will do this with the sure knowledge that if the situation were reversed, they would be coming in to take you out.
    There will be times of frustration and anger, precipitated by political decisions and / or a lack of knowledge, but a healthy dose of philosophy and love for your fellow firefighters will help keep it in the proper perspective. If you ever get to the point where you find yourself hating the duty time, the drills, or the guys you work shoulder to shoulder with, then it is time to analyze yourself, take a vacation, and look at the bigger picture of service to humanity. Proper perspective concerning your role and how it affects the entire operation can help keep you on the right track.

    Kuh

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    So you believe that choosing what to do of your life is less important than saying no to your parents? If you think so you do not still have the maturity to care of yourself.
    I am sorry, but you have to choose by yourself and try to enforce your decision..it's a tough process, especially if your choice is different from what your loved are dreaming for you, but you have to go trough that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost02 View Post
    Hello everyone,
    I am a sixteen year old student and I am wondering, what made all of you firefighters decide to fight fire? I am at a bridge where my parents want me to be a lawyer, and I listen to them, but I myself can not see myself doing that every day of my life. I have worked in a law office and I can assure you it is not like T.V. Aside from that, ultimately when your wife crashes to the floor who would you rather be, a lawyer or a firefighter/paramedic?

    I realize that the first words out of your mouth's will be, "Be an explorer." I plan on that, but recruitment is closed until November.

    So what made you want to be a firefighter?

    [If there are any grammar errors please tell me, I am working on it.]
    A career progression lead me to becoming a firefighter. I had actually volunteered for a couple of years before going to paramedic school. I left volunteering to focus on the paramedic side of things, but had a huge desire to go back to the fire side. I decided rather than sitting around and wondering, I should go after it. And I did. I don't regret any day that I go to work. It's an amazing job to say the least. Some people have to go to work, I get to go to work. That's a huge difference and not many people can say that.

    The other part of your question that got my attention was the part about "when your wife crashes to the floor who would you rather be, a lawyer or a firefighter/paramedic?" To be honest, thinking of a question like that should have zero influence on your career choice. Choose a career because it's what you want to do. Not because you might find it useful. And if someone that close to you crashes to the floor, chances are you won't be of much use anyway. I've seen it before where people forget about all their education and training when it's their loved one.

    This does bring up another point thought. I know that every day that I go to work my girlfriend worries about me. Not because she thinks I won't come home at the end of my shift, but because she knows that it could happen. Your career choice (and this is true of any career) will have an impact on those currently in your life, and those that will come into your life. Just know and understand that it will change some of those things and not everybody can deal with it. This isn't your typical 9-5 job...but it's the best job in the world.

    Shane

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    First of all, stay in school. Go to college and get a degree.

    In the mean while try to join an explorers group and get the basics.

    Why did I become a firefighter? I knew members on the job and when I wasn't getting any where at other jobs, WHAMO, an ad appeared in the local paper and I went and filled out a application. When I was asked by the Deputy Chief who interview me why I applied, I truthfully answered him, saying that "I needed a job".
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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