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  1. #1
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    Default Need some advice. Is it time to hang up the helmet?

    Iím new to the forum and wanted to toss this out there to see what kind of insight and advice I could receive from my fellow brothers and sisters. Let me first start with some background. I am a career Captain within a municipality and have been employed close to the 10 year mark. I started as a volunteer in the rural community I grew up and have been there almost 12 years and also teach new recruits on my off days in academies.

    I started young, just a few years after high school I was working in my ďdreamĒ occupation. But as of lately I have started to actually not look forward to going in to work at the firehouse, the constant barrage of inspections, writing performance evaluations, setting up training etc and all the things that come along with a Captains duties within a career department at a headquarters station has started to exhaust me. I just feel as though I donít ďloveĒ the job like I used to.

    I consider myself to be pretty good at what I do and get along with most everyone but the job just doesnít fulfill me inside like it used to. I look at many of my counterparts whom left straight from high school and attended a 4 year university and to be honest thatís one of the biggest regrets I have, not pursuing my education earlier. I have like most guys and gals gotten my 2 year degree online but I have a desire and passion for more. I have been tossing the idea of full time college up for the past 2 years now, hanging up the helmet and returning to school for a medical degree.

    The decision would be a drastic change, Iím not married nor do I have any kids so now would be the chance if I were to do it. So thereís the issue in a nutshell, and it could possibly be one of the biggest decisions I ever make. It is extremely terrifying to think about leaving good steady employment in these hard times but what happens if none of us ever took chances in life? What do you think any advice out there that can help me out?


  2. #2
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    Only you can make that decision.
    Before retiring look at what you want to go to school for. Analyze the cost, the job market, and talk to people in that field and see if it will be something you would enjoy. Don't just jump into another professoin without knowing fully understanding what you are getting yourself into.
    If it's time to move on then move on nothing wrong with that, just do the research before hand. Good Luck
    In Loving Memory of Paramedic Doug Odgers
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  3. #3
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Default

    It sounds like you've given it a lot of thought, and you've had some of the same thoughts that I do. I'll share some of my history:

    When I was promoted to lieutenant almost 5 years ago, I was sent to my dream assignment. Super-busy 3-company house in an area of the county that provided fire, wrecks, trauma, some really sick patients, interstate action. On top of that, the guys assigned to the shift were top notch (the surrounding companies half-joking called 'em 'FDNY South') - it was always a blast to go to work.

    Unfortunately for me, my BC and I didn't see things eye to eye - about anything at all. I quickly made his "list" and in 2 years, I was transferred out to my current station.

    My current assignment has six nursing homes in the first due, plus a large population of folks that aren't in nursing homes, but probably should be. I don't mind EMS at all, but when we're averaging 8-10 calls per shift, and I can go two shifts without putting my turnouts on, that's kind of discouraging about being a firefighter. Grated, most of the guys on the shift make for a pretty good day, but the "thrill" of going to work simply isn't there a lot of times.

    I'm likely going to be transferred to transferred to logistics as our fleet manager next year, something that I am looking forward to. It will be a great change of pace, let me work around fire trucks all day, keep my apparatus industry connections open, and more or less set my own schedule. Plus, as a two-hatter, I can still play firefighter/EMT at home.

    I don't know what size department you work for, but are there other positions you can look for within the department? If not, could you seek voluntary demotion?

    I can easily relate to the fact that you didn't get your education right out of high school. I didn't either, and sincerely regret that. I am working on my degree online now, but it's a long process, and easy to lose site of the light at the end of the tunnel.

    You're going to have a lot of hard decisions to make, and as was posted earlier, no one knows you better than you do. This is a great job that we have, but there are plenty of people that leave and found careers that satisfy them just as much, if not more. I can remember looking forward to going in to to my previous job (state police dispatcher) and be excited about it every day.

    Best of luck, keep us posted...
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  4. #4
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    Thanks fo rthe informative reply, thats an area I have not looked into yet. The job shadow oppurtunity would be an excellent avenue to look into a new field to determine an interest. God Bless!

  5. #5
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    so one if you were accpeted into a program

    how long would it take to actualy be working in the field???

  6. #6
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    We all have a short time on this earth. The lucky ones spend that time doing something they love. I would suggest a couple things before you leave. Look into transfer opportunities, possibly another station/shift. Some cities will allow you to transfer to another city department, IE wastewater, planning, streets, etc. What about a demotion? Some departments will allow you to demote, maybe a less stressful position could improve things. Just be sure to evaluation all of your options before walking away. Good luck.
    Fire Service Interview questions - The blog that has REAL interview questions for firefighters, Engineers, Lieutenants, and Captains !

  7. #7
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    Consider requesting a transfer to a different station away from the main stream of headquarters. Locate and sign up for classes in the direction of your interest to see if indeed this is the direction you want to pursue.
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