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  1. #1
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    Default Late Start in Life as a Firefighter

    Hey everybody - I imagine you get a lot of questions on this forum from people interested in a career as a firefighter. I searched the forums, learned a lot, and am encouraged that there are a lot of positive, helpful people here.
    My situation is kind of unique. My husband got a great job transfer offer in Colorado Springs, CO. We live in Mountain Home, Idaho, and I am a jail deputy with the Ada County Sheriff. We have a 3 yr old son. I love my job and make a lot of money, work 4 on/4 off, and have great benefits and retirement. I've worked for the county for 6 years. I'm a 39 yr old female.
    I don't want to go to patrol, and I don't want to work at another jail. I love public service, and would like to be an EMT/firefighter. If I could get on with a department, I would stay until retirement. I used to play hockey with a bunch of Boise Fire Dept guys, and I loved hanging out with them. They loved their jobs, and their enthusiasm was delightful. I would like to love my job as much as those guys do.
    Anyway, long story long, I think what I'm trying to accomplish here is a long shot. I have no experience as a firefighter, but 6 yrs experience as a first responder, and experience with medical emergencies and SCBA use at the jail. We train fire drills all the time. I have a good rep at work, am a jail training officer, and will get a good reference/letters of recommendation from my command staff. Please give me your opinion on my chances at this career path. I need a job, but I don't just want to do anything that comes along.
    What do I have to offer the Colorado Springs Fire Dept as a 39 yr old woman? I'm a strongwoman competitor, in good shape, and will be competing in the North American Strongman Nationals this Friday in Reno. I train 4-5 times a week, and have no problem staying in shape. I have a good attitude, work well with all kinds of people, and am willing to do all the low man jobs as a probie. I'm not easily grossed out, and have no apprehensions about dealing with dangerous situations. I promise to leave any ego at the door. I'm a blank slate, so they don't have to make me unlearn any bad habits. I'm very level-headed, calm, dependable, a good cook, and love football, hockey, and NASCAR.
    Is this a crazy idea? I have the heart of a public servant. I don't want to do anything where I'm not helping people. Corporate jobs suck, can't do it.
    Thanks in advance for any advice/suggestions, and for reading this long post. I appreciate any and all constructive input on this matter.


  2. #2
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    Suggest you go talk to the local fire dept to see what colo requires to get hired


    Do you know if there are a number of paid depts in your area??

    Reason is if you try for only one or two it cuts down on chances of being hired

    Any ambulance service you can work for???

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Suggest you go talk to the local fire dept to see what colo requires to get hired


    Do you know if there are a number of paid depts in your area??

    Reason is if you try for only one or two it cuts down on chances of being hired

    Any ambulance service you can work for???
    I'm going to an orientation session on Dec. 16 at the Colorado Springs FD. The hiring period is Dec. 6-17. I'm doing my homework on hiring requirements as we speak. I have no idea how many paid depts are in that area, but I'm willing to test with any one that is hiring. I've never been to Colorado, everything happened really fast with my husband's transfer. I will do all of those things, thank you for giving me a direction to go in. If all else fails, I'm going to take some EMS/Fire classes and keep testing. I've saved about 66% of my yearly income, and have some time to get on with a department. Thanks again for your help!

  4. #4
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KelleeR View Post
    I'm going to an orientation session on Dec. 16 at the Colorado Springs FD. The hiring period is Dec. 6-17. I'm doing my homework on hiring requirements as we speak. I have no idea how many paid depts are in that area, but I'm willing to test with any one that is hiring. I've never been to Colorado, everything happened really fast with my husband's transfer. I will do all of those things, thank you for giving me a direction to go in. If all else fails, I'm going to take some EMS/Fire classes and keep testing. I've saved about 66% of my yearly income, and have some time to get on with a department. Thanks again for your help!


    Welcome to the forums.


    First of all it you aren't fit, you need to begin to get that way and all equipment is heavy in the fire service.

    It is hard work and those who go after the job and get hired, learn quickly.

    A lot of woman don't process upper body strength. I have seen some who looked like line backers for a pro football team couldn't cut it and failed the physical agility exam. Some others breeze right through it.

    Go by a fire house and talk with the members about the job. Take a cake you or cookies you may have baked to them and enjoy your visit. Take notes!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  5. #5
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Welcome to the forums.


    First of all it you aren't fit, you need to begin to get that way and all equipment is heavy in the fire service.

    It is hard work and those who go after the job and get hired, learn quickly.

    A lot of woman don't process upper body strength. I have seen some who looked like line backers for a pro football team couldn't cut it and failed the physical agility exam. Some others breeze right through it.

    Go by a fire house and talk with the members about the job. Take a cake you or cookies you may have baked to them and enjoy your visit. Take notes!
    I've been training strongman events and doing general strength/gpp training for three years, so my overall and upper body strength is good. I will work some running and StepMill work into my training program after Nationals. I have an orientation at the firehouse on Dec. 16, and will be sure to take lots of notes. Should I take cookies to the orientation, or would that be weird? Thanks for your help, CaptOldTimer!

  6. #6
    Forum Member Theaxemancometh's Avatar
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    Naw!! Not the orientation. However, definitely bring cake or cookies if you go talk to the guys and gals at the firehouse. By the way, if they have any females on the department, make sure you get that angle from them as well. If not, go to one of the surrounding departments like Aurora or Denver! You have the makings of an excellent firefighter. Old timer had it right though, physically this job is like no other. You will employ the use of muscles you never knew existed and at times, will pay the price for bad body mechanics. But like smaller, less physical guys on the department, can master most situations through good body mechanics and technique. I say go for it! And best of luck!!

    'The Axeman"
    ___________
    "Purpose, Truth and Passion Yields POWER AND DOMINION IN ACTION!!!"

  7. #7
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    Good for you. Yes, there is a place for you in the fire department. You are doing the right thing by going to the fire station. Take every opportunity to speak to the men and women on the department. I am not too familiar with the Colorado area, but I did proctor Denver's Assistant Chief test about 4 years ago. As I recall their #1 candidate on the tactical was a female. I have scored a bunch of promotional exams and she was one of the best I have ever seen. You might look her up.

    I would encourage you to take an EMT course and get involved with the local volunteer fire department. This will put you in contact with others who have the same goals as you.

    Stay tuned to these boards and ask questions. These are a great resource. Best of luck to you!
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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