1. #1
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    Default So many options, need some advice

    Well if anyone had seen my other post, I was looking into the military, Coast Guard or Air Force.

    Well that had changed because of waits and my ASVAB score was not high enough. I had been talking to a recruiter for the Marines because I know they have Crash Fire Rescue, which I knew would help my future career of hopefully becoming a firefighter.

    And my dad was actually going to sign my papers this saturday, but I am thinking I am going to give my recruiter a hold on, because I have realized I am not 100% on this choice. I do not want it to end up being a bad 4 year choice I make and since I am not guaranteed Crash Fire Rescue, only that job field.

    My dad insists on me on just going to a community college and working on all of my degrees to become a firefighter.

    But I really would like to get out of Florida, I hate being stuck here and honestly do not like it.

    I am really set on somewhere like Virginia or North Carolina.
    So I am going to try to browse around for some good colleges up there, and also talk to my parents about it because I know they would think of it as a lot better route to take.

    But I really just would like input from some firefighters, I mean this has been my dream job for so long and I am willing to put in whatever it takes to get to it.

    I know people say college is not necessary, but would it look better?
    And cant I get my FF 1 & 2 there? and EMT and everything?

    Any information or feedback would help a lot so I can also inform my dad about it all.

    Thanks ahead of time!

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    From personal experiences with the military, I was looking to become a medevac medic for the army... scored high and when i asked for the position they told me there were no guarentees... an ive heard horror story after horror story of how the recruiter screwed them over and they had to become ground thumpers.... One person I did see in which the military helped them was a now chief of a fire dept. Went into the navy as a friefighter on a ship and learned to contain fires.. he was hired soon after his duty was up and rose through the ranks... even if they dont place you as a FF, youll be on the ship and can place for an opening later on...

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    Yeh I did read some about the Navy's Fire jobs.

    But I know it is not my dads top choice for me to go into the military. It was just something that I thought would be a good learning experience for me, and just some discipline.

    But if I had another route, which I sort of do as of now, I would take that route.

    I know people say you do not need college and stuff, then what is it, like where do you get your Fire 1 & 2, EMT, and everything you need?

    A fire academy? Is that just completely different then college?
    I always thought they were apart of colleges.

    Sorry if these are dumb questions I just do not know much about all of the certifications and everything.

    I just know I would like to get out of Florida as I said, and so I am hoping to just get into a college, where I would have a dorm to live in rather than paying for an apartment if that is what I would have to do do attend a dire academy in a different state..

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    I know this has been posted a million times on here, but everyone will tell you that if you want a guaranteed firefighter position, get you medic certificate. A lot of colleges offer it as a 2 year degree program. Ive also seen 2 places that offer condensed classes. The Training Division is around Dallas, and I saw another one up in Massachusettes somewhere. I thought I read on here that FL only takes medics as firefighters now anyways? Any truth to that?

    Im going the medic route because all the higher ups around here swear by it. Im putting all my testing on hold until I get my P card. And not only will you get hired much faster, most jurisdictions give premium pay incentives to medics. Around here they range from an extra $5,000 to $8,200 a year for maintaining you certification. A double whammy in my opinion... get hired faster and get paid more. Why not?

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    You shouldnt care what your dads choices are.. you live your own life and make your own mistakes. So whatever you choose you really should be gung ho about it... I still slightly regret not becomming a medic in the military, not because it'd help me become a FF but because I know i'd been damn good at it and knowing i was saving lives was all I needed. Thats a drive to go to the military... If your going to be wishy washy about the whole idea, choose another route. Go get your EMT license at a college somewhere, then start applying in other states, I hear the southeast US is always hiring... You can get hired without your FFI or FFII. It's just that there will be more people competing with you. In the midwest there is no way of getting your FFI or II without being hired on a dept. Its a rock and a hard place but you have to deal with it.

    Remember, To get something youve never had, you must do something you've never done... That is the key to life... If you fight hard enough for it you will achieve it. Best of luck to you!

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    Did you read this thread at all?
    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=110532

    Yes. A fire academy is different from college.
    Paying for a dorm is like paying for an apartment. You're also looking at dealing with out of state tuitions. $$$

    There is truth to the saying "The grass is always greener on the other side." You think you may know better than dad, but you don't. If he is willing to pay for your schooling in-state at the community college; take him up on it. You will not get any immediate satisfaction by going out of state, and it will most likely not help you.

    And let me say this:
    Being a firefighter in the military will not help you land a firefighter job on the outside.
    Being a firefighter in the military will not help you land a firefighter job on the outside.
    Being a firefighter in the military will not help you land a firefighter job on the outside.

    Good luck.

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    Well thanks for the link to that post.

    And I know that it would be out of state tuition and everything,
    that is sort of why I was leaning to the military because it would get me out of where I am leaving now, which is what I wanted, and also give me the college courses I need.

    I just need to talk to my dad about my different options and see what he is willing to do if I decide not to go into the military, or what I will do if I do join the military, and what service would help me the most.

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    Where in FL Do you live? If you stay home and go to a community college you can look into getting a fire science degree, and you could probably enroll in the fire academy close to you. FL still hires FF/EMT's, but yes it's becoming a medics world down here. I think i'm one of three EMT's on my entire shift.
    If you look into military there is a branch in the air force called pararescue. it's no joke, but they train you as a combat paramedic. I've been looking in it myself and its pretty intense. You do a lot of different training, but they put you through medic school and you also run with the local dept for your ride times. Still, doing this will not get you a job as a firefighter when you finish.

    If you stay in FL go to college and get a degree in something. you can always go to the Fire academy at night. The dept i reserve at had a hiring process a few months ago and the only people they tested were ones with a 4yr degree.

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    Yes I actually did look into pararescue some, it does look pretty intense.

    What do you have to go through to become a medic?

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    I can only speak for NC. Getting your EMT-P will not help. EMT-B and EMT-I will help a little. As far as getting your FF I&II goes, I don't know if that really helps. It all depends on what dept you want to work for. A lot of the larger departments don't care if you have you I&II certifications. You will have to go through their recruit school.

    I know you've probably heard this one a bunch, but getting you education will not hurt. It can only help. Having a college degree will help you get your foot in the door. A lot of departments look at higher education when they are hiring.

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    Well then maybe I should just go ahead and go to the community college here.

    Really was my last option, but if I gotta do it, I will do it.

    I was just browsing some and I know the community college here is a 6 month program to get FF 1 & 2

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    The only reason i say to go to the fire academy is if you are staying in FL. Most Depts down here require you to have your standards as well as min EMT. Down here in FL the depts don't put you through a 20-26 wk orientation. it ranges between 2-8 weeks and its just learning that depts specific guidelines.

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    Well I would only be in Florida to get what I need, like FF 1 & 2 and EMT because I know they have it at the Florida Community College.

    But then if I would like to work in a different state, would I just apply online? And if chosen go there for their training or what?

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    I'd say get your EMT certification and get some experience working EMS and then move to Paramedic. By the time you apply to Paramedic school you'll know if this is something you really want to do, or just something that seems cool.

    After you have your Paramedic your options will be slightly broader and you can at least work and get experience as an ALS provider while getting your FF1 and FF2 at a community college or state satellite campus.

    That's what I would suggest for someone like yourself that seems interested in lots of stuff and is just out of high school.

    Don't panic, you've got your whole life ahead of you and making a decision that will effect several years of your life should not be made lightly.

    Surround yourself with good people (family, pastor, teachers, etc.) people that you trust that will give you good, honest advice. Just be wary of anyone trying to live through you, saying "you should do this" if you know it's just something they are interested in and you're not.

    Good luck!

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    I was (and sort of still am) in the same boat as you bud. I was have been volunteering as a firefighter for the last 3 years and will do anything to make this a career. Heres the path I am taken to try to acheive my goal of becomiong a career firefighter:

    I enlisted in the Air Force Guard and went to besic training and am now in Tech school training to be an AF Medic. The program as an AF medic trains you to get your National registry EMT-B and also provides you with further training more towards the ALS side of things (IV's, intubation, etc.) but you can only practice at that level in the military not in the civilian world but having a civilian cert as a NREMT is a great start.

    Having this training is gonna make my plans on becoming a medic soon alot easier from seeing and already learning some of these skills. When I get back home from tech school in a few weeks, I am going to start moving towards a bachelors degree online in fire science and at the same time testing for departments in AZ, VA, NC, and SC. (I have researched about 5 or 6 departments who plan on having recruit academies in the near future and will apply when available.) In the mean time I am going to continue volunteering where I live (western PA) and get a job running BLS and also serve my duties with the Guard.

    Any decision you make will be a good one im sure and its sounds like your just as ambitious about this whole thing as I am so you will be fine man.

    Hope this Helps.

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