1. #1
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    Question Question Regarding Volly->Career.

    This may be in the wrong forum, if so, all apologies please move to correct forum.

    Now, I'm currently a Volunteer FF with my local Ladder Company. Through the short years I've been on the department, I have grown to love what we do, accidents, public service calls, every thing about it, not just the fire's we sit around at the station waiting for. With this I've changed my career path from Electronics Engineering, to trying to obtain a Paid FF job. Now from what I'm reading, and have been told, I've enrolled in a local college to obtain my Fire Science Degree, as well as my Paramedic (3 years of school in total). Now for all you already career firefighters, especially the new ones, Am I on the right path? I do not want to be a career paramedic, but I've read that the paramedic is slowly being required in some paid departments.

    Now I'm out of North Eastern PA, most fire company's locally are volly, although a few are paid. These paid departments, sadly... Have been under attack by council and their cities trying to lay off more and more firefighters, there for, I have no problem going out of state for a job. which broadens my chances a little.

    Now I know theres been a million threads on this, but I needed something a little more personalized given my situation and what I'm doing to get a job in the Fire Service. What do you guys think about what I'm doing, and how I'm setting myself up for a job? I'd rather you guys tell me straight up that what I'm doing isn't going to help me at all, then not know and find out later after thousands of dollars of schooling gone to waste because I didn't need it.

    Thanks all! Much appreciated!

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    How about switch to fire protection engineer , you would still be involved if fire related field and write your own ticket, and if you still want to be a ff you can with a tremendous second job and fall back job

    Other than that you need to find out what is required in hour state / city just to turn in an application , get it , than start testing anywhere and everywhere

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    Just getting a degree in something fire related isn't the golden ticket... I have a B.S. in Safety/Fire Science....and still testing.

    If I had to do it over again, I would go through medic school. That's the way the entire fire service is going. With a medic cert, and the ability to pass all other tests, that is your ticket (granted that dept runs ALS, which most do)

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    Hello from Indiana,

    I have JUST gotten hired by a Career Dept.. I've been on 5 weeks now.. everywhere is different (you mentioned wanting to move). I looked into switching states to, but it ended up being more problems than it was worth!! I had been at it for over 5 years before I was even close to being hired and year 6 is when I got my big chance.. I started when I was 18 going to college, joining a volly dept and receiving my AAS degree is Fire science and to tell you the truth it was a waist of money! I could have done the classes little by little and saved time and money! I have been an EMT-B now since I was 18, and yes your right Medic is the way of the future and if you get it.. then your PRETTY much on! But, BIG BUT.. I have been told by many medic friends.... "if your heart isn't in it... you wont pass.. " and thats a lot of money and time to waste.. so I never did it and got extremely lucky.. My advice.. finish in a degree that helps you get a job in case the fire career takes a while or doesn't pan out.. use your volly dept for exp, training and getting certs, (hey its cheap and you serve your community!!) In the area I grew up in.. if you weren't a medic you couldn't get a job.. so I did a shot gun effect and took as many test as I could! I have traveled from one corner of the state to the next trying out for depts! in the long run it panned out for me.. I can now say my dream job has came true! good luck in your efforts and I hope that some of this helped!

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    Quote Originally Posted by David5351 View Post
    Hello from Indiana,

    I have JUST gotten hired by a Career Dept.. I've been on 5 weeks now.. everywhere is different (you mentioned wanting to move). I looked into switching states to, but it ended up being more problems than it was worth!! I had been at it for over 5 years before I was even close to being hired and year 6 is when I got my big chance.. I started when I was 18 going to college, joining a volly dept and receiving my AAS degree is Fire science and to tell you the truth it was a waist of money! I could have done the classes little by little and saved time and money! I have been an EMT-B now since I was 18, and yes your right Medic is the way of the future and if you get it.. then your PRETTY much on! But, BIG BUT.. I have been told by many medic friends.... "if your heart isn't in it... you wont pass.. " and thats a lot of money and time to waste.. so I never did it and got extremely lucky.. My advice.. finish in a degree that helps you get a job in case the fire career takes a while or doesn't pan out.. use your volly dept for exp, training and getting certs, (hey its cheap and you serve your community!!) In the area I grew up in.. if you weren't a medic you couldn't get a job.. so I did a shot gun effect and took as many test as I could! I have traveled from one corner of the state to the next trying out for depts! in the long run it panned out for me.. I can now say my dream job has came true! good luck in your efforts and I hope that some of this helped!
    In addition to probably not passing Paramedic if you really don't want to be one .... Should you pass and get hired buy a department to run on a bus all day you will simply not enjoy the job.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Stay in college and get your degree in electrical engineering. Couple reasons. If you change your mind, you will have a skill that is in demand and will only increase in demand in the future. If you test and never get hired, an EE degree is worth more in the marketplace than any of the other options mentioned. Especially the fire related engineering programs. Those majors have a much narrower employer pool than an EE degree. As our society becomes more dependent on technology, that is only going to increase in the future.

    Lastly, an EE degree allows you to go through a testing process showing your potential employers you are capable of finishing a difficult course of study. If you choose to want to pursue a career in the fire service, I would agree that getting a paramedic cert is the best path. In CA that takes six months after getting an EMT cert. Something you can do relatively quickly.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Stay in college and get your degree in electrical engineering. Couple reasons. If you change your mind, you will have a skill that is in demand and will only increase in demand in the future. If you test and never get hired, an EE degree is worth more in the marketplace than any of the other options mentioned. Especially the fire related engineering programs. Those majors have a much narrower employer pool than an EE degree. As our society becomes more dependent on technology, that is only going to increase in the future.

    Lastly, an EE degree allows you to go through a testing process showing your potential employers you are capable of finishing a difficult course of study. If you choose to want to pursue a career in the fire service, I would agree that getting a paramedic cert is the best path. In CA that takes six months after getting an EMT cert. Something you can do relatively quickly.
    100% agree with this. Fire related degrees are great for career FF's, but leave us a tad pigeon holed. Please beware of ANY person who tells you a degree is a "waste of Money". That 5 week probie may think his AAS is BS now, but when he makes district chief over 5 other guys he's going to be glad he did it. Unless it's from lower Utah tech state university.com. If you can't handle paramedic, you are going to have a hell of a time with a EE degree. Your choice, but keep in mind it gives you the ability to deliver a higher level of service to your customer. In 5 years you might be glad you made some tougher choices.

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