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    Default Using My Bachelors In Communication Toward Firefighting?

    Hello all, I'm pretty new here and I have a question that I couldn't find an answer to in the search. I actually posted this in the Career Review forum, but upon further review, that forum doesn't seem to get much traffic so I'm posting it in here. I am 21 and have been attending college for four years, working toward a Bachelors in Interpersonal/Public Communication. I am nearing completion now and would like to know how this may benefit me in a career as a fireman? I've been told that it may help me advance, but do you think this is true?

    You see, I am taking my school's 240 class next semester, as well as the EMT-Basic. Yes, it's a drastic career change, but I've been a part of my local volunteer department for long enough to know that this is absolutely the right path for me. So how about it; will this help me at all? Thanks!

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    Our FD would give you $25/week for your BS. They'd pay you a little more to put up with our BS!

    Kidding aside, our contract says any related degree will be considered, but in practice City Hall noted that they felt any further education has value and would pay for it.

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    Hahaha thanks for the fast reply! Pay aside, do you think it would help me advance in any way? Say, further down the road when I have some experience? Or will it not amount to much other than possibly more pay?

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    You could become the Department's Public Information Officer.

    You can use the electives in the degreee to get a lot of the requirements out of the way towards a degree in Fire Science.

    We get 10% of base salary for an Associates degree, 12% for a Bachelor's degree.
    ‎"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."
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy_m88 View Post
    Hahaha thanks for the fast reply! Pay aside, do you think it would help me advance in any way? Say, further down the road when I have some experience? Or will it not amount to much other than possibly more pay?
    There won't be a lot of public communications information on the engineer's exam, but your experience at studying and preparing for tests in college will give you an edge over some people in your department. Also, the life experiences you gain during college help make you more rounded. They will help you fit in at the firehouse better than some of these kids who are trading momma for a captain.

    And for the record, I've got a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television & Film.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy_m88 View Post
    Hahaha thanks for the fast reply! Pay aside, do you think it would help me advance in any way? Say, further down the road when I have some experience? Or will it not amount to much other than possibly more pay?
    I have heard of some departments mandating a degree or minimum number of credit hours to sit for promotions test, so far down the road, this may pay off more directly than in the beginning. It really depends on the individual department. There is a a huge difference between the extremes in how FD's treat or view degrees and higher education. The good thing is that no matter what no one can take it away from you and chances are it can only help. Education that is then balanced with skills, common sense, work ethic, motivation and experience will pretty much guarantee your success.

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    Thanks for all of the replies! I was worried that I wasted all of that money. I can't wait to get started now. Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy_m88 View Post
    Thanks for all of the replies! I was worried that I wasted all of that money. I can't wait to get started now. Thanks again!

    Slow Down!!... We ain't done with you yet........

    Seriously, Here in the Mid Atlantic area, a lot of Departments provide incentives for Higher ED, as well as Continuing ED. One area that you might look at is developing your Skills and Education in the Field of Recruitment and Retention. You could even get some practice at your VFD (assuming that they need to recruit Volunteers) Larger Combination Departments in the DC area have Recruiting Offices operated by a full time person......... It may be a way to get a foot in the door in these tough economic times.... Good Luck to you......
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    Yes, your degree will help in many ways.

    Most departments require some sort of higher education regardless of what it is. Your degree is related to the fire service as much as it is related to marketing or accounting. It can be used to whatever you are doing as a career.

    Most departments give you a pay increase for having such degrees and some have an incentive to further your education while being employed. Some departments require degrees for promotion.

    Just the initiation to get more education than what is required is a big step and shows a potential employer that you are willing to work for what you want.
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    Not sure about actualy usage of the degree, but most departments who offer a pay raise for a bachelor's degree dont care what area it is in. As long as you have one, you get the raise.

    Plus, like mentioned above, the electives and core classes you took for that degree will more than likely count towards a degree in fire science.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Our FD would give you $25/week for your BS. They'd pay you a little more to put up with our BS!

    Kidding aside, our contract says any related degree will be considered, but in practice City Hall noted that they felt any further education has value and would pay for it.
    If we had to pay the guys for their level of B.S., we'd be broke!

    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Thanks for all of the replies guys. I guess I have a few more things to consider. hwoods, we don't have a recruitment system at this time. Actually recruits seem to come to us most of the time. But it's still something to research.

    CaptainGonzo, being a Public Information Officer does sound like a good job. I'm not sure I want to stray from being a "traditional" fireman, as I enjoy going on any and all calls, but maybe these would be future positions to look into? Ah, I guess there's still time. Thanks again for giving advice!

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