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    Cool Fire Science or EMS AAS Degree?

    I am 19 looking to become a firefighter/paramedic. I have completed my EMTB and am starting to look at classes for this upcoming semester. If i were to do the EMS Degree then the paramedic studies (32 credits) would count towards it whereas if i went with the Fire Science, it wouldnt. Which degree looks better on a job application?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jagebner View Post
    I am 19 looking to become a firefighter/paramedic. I have completed my EMTB and am starting to look at classes for this upcoming semester. If i were to do the EMS Degree then the paramedic studies (32 credits) would count towards it whereas if i went with the Fire Science, it wouldnt. Which degree looks better on a job application?
    You are young. Get a degree in EMS and then go back and get your fire degree. Then you have the best of both worlds. Good luck.

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    Do you wanna get a degree to get hired, or do you actually want to learn and use the information you have gathered to serve the people of the community to which you serve?
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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    I haven't seen any places that require a "fire science" degree, but I have seen places that want some college. I have also seen plenty of places that want you to be a paramedic before hire. Get a Bachelor in something other then fire science. Try Public Policy, Business Management, Adult Education, Industrial Hygene...just about ANYTHING other then fire science.
    Why, no one but the FD cares at all about fire science. Almost no one will take transfer credits from a fire science program (which means no one considers it higher education)
    Also I have seen a trend in departments looking for well rounded individuals, so having an interest in something other then the FD would be good.

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    Or depending on your area, you may not be required to have any of these things or certs to get hired (although it may help). If not, start applying and get hired NOW and then work on college while you're building seniority. A lot of depts have (or had before the economy tanked) educational reimbursement and will pay for Medic School.

    I agree... never seen FS or EMS degree required (or even preferred). Get a degree that will help you in life and later on in your career, such as the ones mentioned above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzyyzx View Post
    Or depending on your area, you may not be required to have any of these things or certs to get hired (although it may help). If not, start applying and get hired NOW and then work on college while you're building seniority. A lot of depts have (or had before the economy tanked) educational reimbursement and will pay for Medic School.

    I agree... never seen FS or EMS degree required (or even preferred). Get a degree that will help you in life and later on in your career, such as the ones mentioned above.
    The man from Arizona is on it as usual!! If I can weigh in as well, man get that paramedic training IN YOUR POCKET!! Fire departments want what's going to benefit them RIGHT NOW!! And RIGHT NOW, an EMS/Fire degree is not going to necessarily benefit them! Think about it: You're a Fire Chief and some of your most senior medics are poised for retirement. You need to keep all of your "boxes" (MEDIC UNITS) staffed. What weighs more heavily in your mind?? An applicant with a medic cert or someone with a degree in EMS/Fire?? Does it mean that cat with the medic cert is going to make a better Firefighter?? NOT!! BUT, it fills a need immediately!!

    Now I'm a huge advocate of education. As a profession, if we don't start reconciling the importance of education, we'll continue to be marginalized and take second billing to other professions like law enforcement.(And anyone can be a cop! lol) But the reality is if you want to get hired now, GET YO ***** IN MEDIC SCHOOL!! Got some time to spare?? Then I agree with the previous posters; get a degree in something other than Fire or EMS!! Good luck young Jedi!!

    "The Axeman"
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    Last edited by Theaxemancometh; 07-05-2010 at 03:25 AM.

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    Here's an idea, find a tech school to get your medic in under a year. I highly recommend taking an A&P/human biology course and also a general pharmacology course before enrolling, since these tech schools often give an inadequate abridged version of A&P and pharm. In my medic program, we had two weeks of A&P and one week of pharm. It was very watered down from the college versions, as you would imagine. If you take those two college level courses, the medic program will be much easier, and you'll be a much better clinician as well.

    Why I say this is that you can get your cert quickly and get into a good FD probably six months to a year before you would even finish the EMS AAS. Medic cert = drastically less competition in hiring. The medic cert is the most valued in hiring in most depts that have firemedics, hands down. Fire science is useless outside of the fire science. Try emergency management, or maybe nursing to have a lucrative side job.

    I'm currently completing my EMS AAS. My dept gives educational points for career advancement. Basically, at my local community college, a medic cert, it can be from anywhere, even a cracker jack box, is worth 37 credits out of the 68 needed for the degree. Now, you're making money if that A&P/pharm classes are applicable to your local EMS AAS degree. While going through the hiring process, you can also take ENG, PSY, SOC, etc. Most of this stuff is available through distance learning, aka on line classes.

    In short fashion, you'll have a degree, and have a leg up regarding the promotional process.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Here's what I tell most young people trying to get a foot in the door:

    Get your R.N. Our local community college can get you an associates in nursing (which makes you eligible to test for the R.N. in my state) in about the same time you can get an EMT-P from the same institution.

    Then, bridge to paramedic. A local college advertises they can do it in a two week class.

    That way, if for some reason things don't work out, or you can't get hired right away, you still have the magic letters (R.N.) behind your name. I have several friends who've gotten their medic, for whatever reason had trouble getting hired by a fire department, and have ended up working for some fly-by-night, meat wagon private ambo service where they're treated like a piece of meat. If they had their R.N., they would at least have had a lot more employment options while they're waiting for their ship to come in.

    Disclaimer: This is in no way directed at the private ambo services that are decent to work for and treat their employees in a humane manner. I know you're out there; unfortunately in my experience you're the exception, not the rule.

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    RN does NOT = Medic.
    Just because you can do something does not mean you should.
    With two very different bases of learning and thought processes, it should not be compared.
    This is not to take away from RNs, they are (usually) very good at their job, but a PHRN or MICN is tough to master.
    I have worked with many excellent RNs who kicked *** in the ER or ICU for years and years, but freeze up when it comes time to do our job.
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    Just going to throw it out there that there are some departments that actually require Fire Science degrees to even apply, but they're very rare. The only two I've found (if I remember correctly) are Schaumburg IL and Green Bay WI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuskerMedic View Post
    Here's what I tell most young people trying to get a foot in the door:

    Get your R.N. Our local community college can get you an associates in nursing (which makes you eligible to test for the R.N. in my state) in about the same time you can get an EMT-P from the same institution.

    Then, bridge to paramedic. A local college advertises they can do it in a two week class.

    That way, if for some reason things don't work out, or you can't get hired right away, you still have the magic letters (R.N.) behind your name. I have several friends who've gotten their medic, for whatever reason had trouble getting hired by a fire department, and have ended up working for some fly-by-night, meat wagon private ambo service where they're treated like a piece of meat. If they had their R.N., they would at least have had a lot more employment options while they're waiting for their ship to come in.

    Disclaimer: This is in no way directed at the private ambo services that are decent to work for and treat their employees in a humane manner. I know you're out there; unfortunately in my experience you're the exception, not the rule.
    While getting an R.N. is not a bad option, when you're 19, want to be a firefighter and so clearly focused on that, it's very difficult to be committed and focused on something that seems slightly removed from what you really want to be. While there's more than one way to skin a cat, I believe the "lion's share" of firefighter candidates "generally" are successful pursuing their chosen career , as long as they have the passion, hunger and perseverance to well position themselves. What does this mean?? I say all this to say: If you want to be a firefighter, young brotha, do it with all your power, all your might and all your mind!!! Start testing RIGHT NOW!!! Get the experience taking written tests, CPATs' and most importantly, INTERVIEWS!!!
    It sounds like you're half way through the EMS degree...sooooooo that's pretty much a no brainer!!! If you must get your degree right now, then go for the EMS degree! BUT, Ray Charles can see that that the shortest path between two points is a straight line! SO START TESTING NOW to get the experience, consider paramedic training as good way to position yourself and good luck!

    "The Axeman"
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    Last edited by Theaxemancometh; 07-07-2010 at 08:18 PM.

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    I should have qualified my reply. I believe my advice is the best course of action for my area.

    Where I live, there are not many career departments. Most only test every other year. If someone wants to stay in this geographic area, getting hired may be a multi-year ordeal, even for a good, qualified candidate.

    As I've said, I've had friends that were trying (and most eventually succeeded) to get on career departments that endured a multi-year ordeal in doing so. Part of what made it such an ordeal is that until they were able to get hired, they had to take whatever they could get for employment as a medic, the only real, marketable skill they possessed. Often, that employment was less than desirable.

    In other words, I stand by my statement, but I do acknowledge that it might not be the best option for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuskerMedic View Post
    Here's what I tell most young people trying to get a foot in the door:

    Get your R.N. Our local community college can get you an associates in nursing (which makes you eligible to test for the R.N. in my state) in about the same time you can get an EMT-P from the same institution.

    Then, bridge to paramedic. A local college advertises they can do it in a two week class.

    That way, if for some reason things don't work out, or you can't get hired right away, you still have the magic letters (R.N.) behind your name. I have several friends who've gotten their medic, for whatever reason had trouble getting hired by a fire department, and have ended up working for some fly-by-night, meat wagon private ambo service where they're treated like a piece of meat. If they had their R.N., they would at least have had a lot more employment options while they're waiting for their ship to come in.

    Disclaimer: This is in no way directed at the private ambo services that are decent to work for and treat their employees in a humane manner. I know you're out there; unfortunately in my experience you're the exception, not the rule.
    I wish they did that down here. If that is available, do that.
    FF/Paramedic

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