1. #1
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    Default Making a career change

    I live in Wisconsin and have spoke to a couple of career FF in the Milwaukee area about my desire to become a career FF/Medic at age 35. I have been told WI does not have an age max.

    I joined a volunteer FD last year, had wanted to for sometime, and love it!!!

    Im taking both Fire 1 and EMT-I this January, our dept is not paramedic service.

    But, I am making a career change and am extremely excited about it!! Hoping I get into a Paramedic program in August and will look to get into the recruitment process in 2012.

    Again, Im 35, so I am hoping that having FireI/II and paramedic will provide me an opportunity to become a career FF/medic, do well on the testing and interview. Im thinking at my age, experience in volunteer and the dept not having to send me thru classes, will make me look more attractive, despite my age.....

    Any advice or opinions would be greatley appreciated!!

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    Hi Rudy-

    Congratulations on the decision! I know of firefighters who've been picked up that were 10 years older than you at the time of hire, so don't sweat the age stuff!

    You should begin testing in earnest right away. Mastering the testing process is the key to getting hired.

    I've pointed several people to this post on my blog on starting out and it seems to help:

    http://www.gethiredbyfire.com/?p=21

    See you on the job!

    Paul

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    I am in the same boat Rudy. After 5 years in the insurance business I am nearing burn out and tested with my first department in october. Hoping to hear back from them this week. From the people that I have talked with on this web site, and over the phone you seem to be on the right path.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulC. View Post
    Hi Rudy-

    Congratulations on the decision! I know of firefighters who've been picked up that were 10 years older than you at the time of hire, so don't sweat the age stuff!

    You should begin testing in earnest right away. Mastering the testing process is the key to getting hired.

    I've pointed several people to this post on my blog on starting out and it seems to help:

    http://www.gethiredbyfire.com/?p=21

    See you on the job!

    Paul
    Just checked it out Paul!! Thanks, perfect for what I want to read and hear! Also have looked in Capt Bob's site/stuff. Just wasn't sure it his stuff was legit....now I know!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razorback View Post
    I am in the same boat Rudy. After 5 years in the insurance business I am nearing burn out and tested with my first department in october. Hoping to hear back from them this week. From the people that I have talked with on this web site, and over the phone you seem to be on the right path.
    What part of Wisco and city? Ive been in healthcare (chiro) for almost 9 years and just can't stand it! Love volunteering as EMT and taking Fire1 this Jan.

    Advice on the testing? How did you go about it?

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    Hey Rudy, welcome to the boards. I am pretty much doing the same exact thing as you. I'm 37 and an underwriter in the insurance field. I'm changing careers and doing something I love. I completed my EMT-B class a few months ago and will be starting the Fire Academy in the next month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rudydc View Post
    What part of Wisco and city? Ive been in healthcare (chiro) for almost 9 years and just can't stand it! Love volunteering as EMT and taking Fire1 this Jan.

    Advice on the testing? How did you go about it?

    Well not the EXACT same boat. I live in Arkansas. I think that you are on the right track getting all of your certs first. I don't start EMT class until summer semester. From the ONE test that I have taken so far my best advice is to brush up on your basic education skills, go to the gym and do some squats, and be able to relate a few background stories of instances in which you have used teamwork, integrity, leadership, problem solving, ect...

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    Also you might want to check on the departments you are looking to apply too. The certs definitely help and look very good. A lot of the large career fire departments will put you through their fire academy anyways but having the medical will save them from putting you through those classes. Either way it looks good to have them knowing you have some experience and put effort into training and bettering yourself. The age should not be a factor, plenty of firefighters I know have changed careers and did not get on a fire department till 30's or even a few in their 40's.

    My opinion on testing is to prepare all that you can for it before time. Find out what events are in the CPAT, prepare for those, if there is any info on the written look into that too. The writtens I have taken there was a sample test you could get online. Be prepared to tell them about yourself and your interests and just be yourself and friendly as possible. Good luck!

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