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  1. #1
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    Default Really interested in getting into this..

    My names Jake, from Tampa
    Im 20 yrs old, married, might have a kid on the way not sure yet tho.
    I graduated high school in 07, my dad got me a job at the company he worked for, i worked there for 2 years and they got bought out and i got laid off.
    Iv been in and out of nowhere jobs for the last year, never been fired or quit just laid off everytime something gets going. I tried to get into the Army, that didnt work out because my recruiter was to slow in getting some medical waiver and then they changed there policy at the last minute.
    So im stuck at this point and i want to do something with my life, im tired of trying to find a job day after day and getting nowhere.

    Iv been reading up a little bit on what it takes to do this and im very interested.
    What all do i have to do and where do i go? How long does it take? I started now could i find myself in a job within a year or so?
    And based on the little information i gave about my situation is this a good decision for me?

    Any information or suggestions you guys have would help me out alot.
    6lkl6l is online now Report Post Edit/Delete Message


  2. #2
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    First you need to go through EMT. It is one semester long and is offered by HCC and FMTI. After that is fire school, which is also offered by HCC. Fire school lasts around 4 to 6 months depending on whether you go to the full time academy or part time. St. Pete College also does the fire academy. At this point you will be able to start applying for jobs, as you can get hired on as a FF/EMT with the requirement of becoming a paramedic within a certain time frame after employment. Paramedic is offered by both HCC and FMTI. It is a year long program. As far as costs go, I'm not sure what has changed but you are probably looking at a total investment of at least $7,000 for all three classes.

    Besides going through school, you also should consider volunteering as firefighter. It will give you some experience in the field and allow you to keep your fire cert active. Also, if you build a good reputation, you can open some doors as far as getting hired on. Volunteering is by no means a path to a guaranteed job, but every little bit helps. Hillsborough County has 6 volunteer stations. Both Pinellas county and Pasco county have volunteers, and Temple Terrace has a reserve program.

    Now, not to discourage you, but I think that you should have a realistic view the job market before you invest your time and money. This field is extremely competitive. You can reasonably expect to be looking for a job for AT LEAST 2 to 3 years after becoming a FF/EMT. Paramedic helps, but there are a ton of FF/paramedics out there applying for jobs right now, and it is only getting worse.

    To give you an example, with my department's last hiring, over 650 people applied and more than 450 people tested for 15 positions. I have a better resume than the vast majority of those that applied, but I still feel extraordinarily fortunate to have gotten a job. I would say that even if you started school next month, you realistically are looking at not getting hired within 4 years from now. That said, if this is what you want to do, by all means go for it. This is without a doubt the best job in the world, and I am sure that anyone will tell you that it is worth all of the hard work, not to mention the wait.

    The only thing I would caution you on is your background. If you have any DUIs on your record, don't waste your time or money. You can get a DUI after you get hired (provided you are off probation) and keep your job, but it is damn near impossible to get hired with a DUI on your record.

  3. #3
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    Default

    ///////////////////////
    Last edited by Deluge059; 08-10-2011 at 03:30 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Finding a job within a year would be kind of like winning a lottery ticket. If becoming a firefighter is something you want to achieve you should think of it in the long term. My suggestion to you would be to get your EMT-B first. This takes 1 semester and you should be able to continue working in whatever side job you can get while in school. Once you pass the national test and become EMT-B certified, you have the option of applying in local hospitals to work as an ER Tech. Once you are working as a tech you have several options including 1) Going to the Fire Academy as part time (night classes) which allows you to continue working while in the academy or 2) Continue your EMS training by doing your paramedics while working as an ER Tech which some hospitals MAY pay for.

    The first option allows you to start applying to departments as a FF/EMT within 7/8 months assuming a department starts hiring and you passed everything in time. Please keep in mind that even after you apply to a department, it may take months for them to call you off the list assuming you make it on there. The second option may help you out financially but will likely delay your ability to apply since many departments require FF certification to apply.

    There really is no BEST way to do it, it all depends on your individual needs and financial responsibilities to your family.

    If you have any questions come back and ask away! I recently went through this whole process so a lot of it is still fresh in my head. Good luck!
    Last edited by RGonzalez; 02-09-2010 at 05:42 PM.

  5. #5
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    From the time I started EMT school to the time I got a job was 54 weeks, and that was taking both EMT and the Fire Academy part-time.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trained View Post
    From the time I started EMT school to the time I got a job was 54 weeks, and that was taking both EMT and the Fire Academy part-time.
    I imagine that was an EMS job? Fire jobs are quite different in regards to time. If not, good for you.





    Also Jake, deluge and gonzalez are correct for someone in your position. The fire/ems job market is WAY to competitive for someone married and with a kid looking for a fresh new career. You realistically have about a 1 in 200 to 500 chance of landing a job after applying for a department. With a kid on the way, those aren't great odds.
    Also, I can tell you jumping back and forth between employers DOES NOT look good on a resume. Primarily because your employer may have a hard time believing that they can retain you as an employee
    Last edited by flashpo1nt; 02-10-2010 at 10:30 AM.

  7. #7
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    It's a fire job. I probably could've had an EMT job 6 months ago right after I got done with EMT classes. I know 3 guys from my Fire Academy that got hired at a local Ambulance service back in Sept/October.

    I got done and literally applied everywhere. I've taken 4 written exams, 4 PAT's, 2 ems assessments, two panel interviews, 1 psych exam, and 1 chief's interview. I start at The Villages next Wednesday, and just got a letter that I am 7th on the eligibility list for Citrus County, who's supposed to be hiring anywhere from 8-28 FF/EMTs later this year.

    There are jobs out there, but they're tough to get. You have to apply everywhere and do your best on all of the exams.
    Last edited by Trained; 02-11-2010 at 05:11 PM.

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