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  1. #1
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    Default Help with getting hired

    Hey guys, I know you probably get this all the time (in fact I've read a few similar threads), I'm 19 years old and have been going to community college for a year now just to have something to fall back onto if getting onto a paid dept. does not work out, I know that the process is very competitive as I applied to the Milford ct department this past summer. Right now I'm working on gettin my EMT-B certification and I'm about halfway through the class with very good grades. I'm in very good physical condition as weightlifting/bodybuilding if you want to call it that is my main hobby. I've thought about joining the military (navy in particular) to improve my chances when I get out of being hired. I have not volunteered at my local department because honestly, with a full college schedule and a part time job I do not think I would have the time. I could use some help with improving my chances at getting onto a paid department as the Bridgeport CT exam is coming up this spring and I'd like to hear what you guys have to offer as advice.

    Thanks for reading,
    Trevor


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    Not in order---

    1. Stay in School--
    2. Stay in Shape--
    3. Volunteer at your local department (I know you said you're schedule is full but really, how do you know you will like it? Start learning now and it will help you later)
    4. Stay out of trouble (drugs, tickets, drinking and other tomfoolery associated with being young).

    Also--If you are considering the Military Fire service look at the Air Force. Great program and lots of training opportunity.
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder

  3. #3
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    The military is a great way to get experience as well as make you more ďHirableĒ. With the slow economy and departments slowing hiring, it would be a great place to spend you time. But donít join to get a job as a firefighter, join because you want to, with the added benefit that it will help you get hired. Same thing for paramedics school, it will help you get a job, but you should do it because you want to be a medic, not just to get a job.

    Also as stated above, do anything you can to get some volunteer experience.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    www.myfireinterview.com

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    ya the armed forces really appeal to me because they take you on with no training and then train you,for someone without a college degree who is right out of highschool its just about the only thing you can do with the way the economy is,and also I really do enjoy my EMT class and can absolutely see myself becoming a paramedic and really enjoying it..thanks for the responses guys.I have a quick question, even though fire departments say they only require a highschool diploma have you ever even heard of someone with say just an EMT certification and no real experience being hired?

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    That happens all the time. Many recruits that are hired have no experience. It helps if you do, but for many depts, especially in big cities, it really does not matter whether or not you have firefighting experience in order to get hired.

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    I can list a number of people, in just the last year, that got hired with just an EMT at 18-19 years old. Does that mean it is easy or something you should count on? No, those are rare situations and as was said above usually with larger departments. The last four I talked to were two with L.A. city and the other two with one of the departments in or around Las Vegas.

    If you do go into the military be sure to get IN WRITING that you will be able to go into firefighting. The recruiters are going to do what they can to get qualified people to enlist and promises are made that donít always work out.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    www.myfireinterview.com

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    I completely understand that its not likely,just wanted to know if it was completely unheard of. Thanks alot for the help guys I really appreciate it.

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    Don't join the military to help become a firefighter, Join the military to serve your country. I spent six years in the Army non firefigher related Mos. I hated people who cried when it was time to deploy. The Military is not a college paid/help you get a job Solution. Its to defend this country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ770 View Post
    Don't join the military to help become a firefighter, Join the military to serve your country. I spent six years in the Army non firefigher related Mos. I hated people who cried when it was time to deploy. The Military is not a college paid/help you get a job Solution. Its to defend this country.
    as I said,if I did join the military I would never join just to take advantage of it,I would do my job and serve my country to the best of my ability,and definitely would never serve if I was hoping to not be deployed. I was simply seeing the military preference points and training to something I want to do as a civilian as a plus

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    Hi Trev-

    If you really want to be a structural firefighter working for a municipality in the US...go straight to getting that done. Military service is commendable and important, but it would really just be putting one more thing in the way of achieving your dreams if its not something you have a burning desire to do. I just wrote a few articles on this subject on my blog that you can check out for more.

    Best,

    PaulC.
    PaulC
    FF/EMTP
    City of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
    gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulC. View Post
    Hi Trev-

    If you really want to be a structural firefighter working for a municipality in the US...go straight to getting that done. Military service is commendable and important, but it would really just be putting one more thing in the way of achieving your dreams if its not something you have a burning desire to do. I just wrote a few articles on this subject on my blog that you can check out for more.

    Best,

    PaulC.
    I see it the same way,I want to be working as a firefighter sooner than later,and going to the military puts a 4 year gap minimum in between when that could happen and now.

  12. #12
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    If you want to join the military to serve your country then do it! Do not do it because it will make you a more marketable firefighter candidate. Very few places are going to hire you at 18, The examples posted above are not current as LA City has had a hiring freeze for quite some time. The realiity is that very few people will be hired at even 22 years old, especially with all of the candidates we have to choose from.

    I am a little confused when you say that you are in school as a fall back plan. You should be there working on your AS degree. This is what you will be doing if you are a serious candidate. Also, having too full of a plate because you are a full time college student at the junior college and do not have time to volunteer is a poor excuse. Your competition is doing it, so too can you. IF someone your age were to be hired in your region, I would put my money on the one who is able to accomplish all of the above.

    Good luck with your decisions.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulLepore View Post
    If you want to join the military to serve your country then do it! Do not do it because it will make you a more marketable firefighter candidate. Very few places are going to hire you at 18, The examples posted above are not current as LA City has had a hiring freeze for quite some time. The realiity is that very few people will be hired at even 22 years old, especially with all of the candidates we have to choose from.

    I am a little confused when you say that you are in school as a fall back plan. You should be there working on your AS degree. This is what you will be doing if you are a serious candidate. Also, having too full of a plate because you are a full time college student at the junior college and do not have time to volunteer is a poor excuse. Your competition is doing it, so too can you. IF someone your age were to be hired in your region, I would put my money on the one who is able to accomplish all of the above.

    Good luck with your decisions.
    I dont have time to volunteer because I am taking 12 credits at community college and also working 20 hours a week to pay for it...not just because of school, I will make time in the near future though,my plan was to get my emt license and make that my job so that I can get paid while getting the experience needed to get my paramedic cert,but if volunteering is going to help more in terms of increasing my chances of getting hired then that is what I am going to do. Thank you for the advice

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    Also the "fall back plan" of going to college was basically so that if I don't get onto a fire department by the time I am finished with school I could choose a different career.Firefighting is what I want to do but I don't want to wait until im 25 to do it. My parents are old school,nothing is given to me and I work for everything I have and I just don't know that I could make it to 24 or 25 without making money along the way,waiting tables at restaurants is good pay for a highschool or college student,but at 23 or 24 it is a lowly job. I guess I have to reassess my plan,because if I keep doing this and not bettering myself as a job candidate I won't ever get hired, I have already taken two fire tech courses at college but next semester I will be taking more because you guys have shown that if you want to get hired that is the best route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevkm7 View Post
    I dont have time to volunteer because I am taking 12 credits at community college and also working 20 hours a week to pay for it...not just because of school, I will make time in the near future though,my plan was to get my emt license and make that my job so that I can get paid while getting the experience needed to get my paramedic cert,but if volunteering is going to help more in terms of increasing my chances of getting hired then that is what I am going to do. Thank you for the advice
    volunteering doesnt help u get hired one bit....go paramedic youll get the job!!

  16. #16
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    Trev,
    I certainly understand the challenge of going to school while working full time. 7 years ago I was 9 classes away from an AA degree. I just finished my Masters degree. This while working a full time job, being a husband, father, and writing a couple of books. Time management skills are very important.
    The more you can accomplish, the more desireable you are for us to hire. While you have a full plate, there are plenty of pepole who are doing everything you mentioned above and have a wife, kids and/or a mortgage payment. Life is full of choices. You can choose how to spend your time.
    You have a good start, but there is certainly room for more (JMHO).

    And yes, volunteering ABSOLUTELY does help you get hired!
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulLepore View Post
    Trev,
    I certainly understand the challenge of going to school while working full time. 7 years ago I was 9 classes away from an AA degree. I just finished my Masters degree. This while working a full time job, being a husband, father, and writing a couple of books. Time management skills are very important.
    The more you can accomplish, the more desireable you are for us to hire. While you have a full plate, there are plenty of pepole who are doing everything you mentioned above and have a wife, kids and/or a mortgage payment. Life is full of choices. You can choose how to spend your time.
    You have a good start, but there is certainly room for more (JMHO).

    And yes, volunteering ABSOLUTELY does help you get hired!
    thanks for the incite Paul,I definitely see where your coming from as someone who is actually looking over all the applicants,your going to pick the person most dedicated to getting a job on the fire dept.It just seems like alot of schooling to do (between the fire tech associates degree and the paramedic schooling)just to "have a better shot" at getting hired when it is not a definite thing. I'd like to ask, seeing as there are many other careers that require around the same 4 years of schooling that pay more...are you genuinely happy with your job as that is my main concern.If I go through all the schooling and finally get hired and I love it and could be making more money doing something else I would still be elated to get up and go to work doing something I love everyday...I guess thats where volunteering comes in because I can actually find out first hand if I enjoy the job.
    Last edited by Trevkm7; 03-02-2011 at 11:36 AM.

  18. #18
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    Trev,
    That's an entirely different question altogehter. I am sure that others will weigh in on the topic.

    I will tell you that I LOVE my job, although I had much more fun when I was working as a firefighter/paramedic on the box with a good partner. Being a Captain was great too as I could build a crew around me. Being a Battalion Chief was fun, but being in charge of 50 firefighters each day can be a challenge. Now as a Division Chief, I have an entirely different set of roles and responsibilities.

    If I had it to do all over again, the only thing I would do differently is to have gone to a university and earn a 4 year degree before getting hired on the fire department.

    As far as selecting a career in which you will make more money, that may apply on your end of the country bit it certainly does not apply here in California. In LA and Orange County most of the firefighter medics make over 100K. The standard of living is a little better in Northern California. I understand that California is one of the few areas in the country where this is the case. Money certainly is not everything, being happy in life is.

    I am 3 1/2 years from retirement and am really looking forward to it. I know I will miss it, but I have plenty fo things to keep me busy.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulLepore View Post
    Trev,
    That's an entirely different question altogehter. I am sure that others will weigh in on the topic.

    I will tell you that I LOVE my job, although I had much more fun when I was working as a firefighter/paramedic on the box with a good partner. Being a Captain was great too as I could build a crew around me. Being a Battalion Chief was fun, but being in charge of 50 firefighters each day can be a challenge. Now as a Division Chief, I have an entirely different set of roles and responsibilities.

    If I had it to do all over again, the only thing I would do differently is to have gone to a university and earn a 4 year degree before getting hired on the fire department.

    As far as selecting a career in which you will make more money, that may apply on your end of the country bit it certainly does not apply here in California. In LA and Orange County most of the firefighter medics make over 100K. The standard of living is a little better in Northern California. I understand that California is one of the few areas in the country where this is the case. Money certainly is not everything, being happy in life is.

    I am 3 1/2 years from retirement and am really looking forward to it. I know I will miss it, but I have plenty fo things to keep me busy.
    Thanks so much for the help and incite, I really just needed someone who has done it before to talk to and I had nobody to give me some perspective...thanks again

  20. #20
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    You are very welcome. Getting hired on the fire department is very unique as you have to pay it forward. What I mean by that is that you must complete your education, training, and experience before getting hired. When we have an open seat, I want to hire someone who is best quaified (and suited) for the position. As a general rule the person who can convince me that he or she is the most qualified for the position will get the job.

    Of course there are many other factors involved with selecting the right person such as their character, background, and history of responsibility.

    It is true that most places will train you upon being hired, but again, the person who comes with the most training et al will be an easier fit.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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