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  1. #1
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    Default What's the best choice?

    I would like input from the forum...

    Currently, I work a decent part-time job in the health care field. It is not my dream job, but it pays well, has benefits, and is for a well-established company. I recently got an offer to become a part-time firefighter for a small department about an hour away. There are no benefits, pay is lower, and there is much uncertainty about the position (new idea, previously 100% union dept., shifts/schedule/assignments "a work in progress"). Being a firefighter is my dream job, but taking this part-time job will be a big hit to my pocketbook, as well as increase my travel time from 30 minutes to 2 hours a day. I really want to be a firefighter, but I have a wife, kids, and mortgage that all require me to have a stable income. My goal is to become a career FF and I know this would look good on my resume, but would it make that much of a difference in a hiring situation?

    I am really torn about what I should do. What do you guys think?


  2. #2
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    Taking care of your family should always come first. Sometimes you have to put off your dreams for a little longer in order to accomplish that. If you were single with no kids my opinion would be to take the FF job as long as you could survive off the paycheck. Since that isn't the case you must take care of your family first and probably wait until you can get on with a department that can support the family needs. At the same time, you also don't NEED fire experience to become a firefighter. There are plenty of people without the experience or certifications who get on to a department before people who do have the experience or certifications. So that's not the determining factor on whether you get hired or not. So i say keep the other medical job that's paying the bills and just keep applying to larger departments who would be able to meet you and your family's needs financially. Just my .02

  3. #3
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    agree with above, fire experience is great and all, but family has to be the first priority. I would try to look for more volunteer opportunities if you are worried about getting fire experience. That way you can keep your job now for family, and volunteer work isn't so demanding, but you can still get the experience and training.

  4. #4
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    Default

    xff

    What is the work schedule??????

  5. #5
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    Default

    Self Deleted
    Last edited by arharris83; 02-17-2012 at 10:12 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fire5555 View Post
    xff

    What is the work schedule??????
    on-off-on-off-on-4 off, but working 12-hour shifts rather than 24's.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by arharris83 View Post
    You say your job now is Part-Time, and the firefighter job you were offered is part time as well. Why not do both? I currently work a part-time job and I recently got hired on a Part-Time fire department and I am able to do both. Why not try that route?
    I wish I could...both jobs have a set schedule and they conflict.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by xFF1983x View Post
    I would like input from the forum...

    Currently, I work a decent part-time job in the health care field. It is not my dream job, but it pays well, has benefits, and is for a well-established company. I recently got an offer to become a part-time firefighter for a small department about an hour away. There are no benefits, pay is lower, and there is much uncertainty about the position (new idea, previously 100% union dept., shifts/schedule/assignments "a work in progress"). Being a firefighter is my dream job, but taking this part-time job will be a big hit to my pocketbook, as well as increase my travel time from 30 minutes to 2 hours a day. I really want to be a firefighter, but I have a wife, kids, and mortgage that all require me to have a stable income. My goal is to become a career FF and I know this would look good on my resume, but would it make that much of a difference in a hiring situation?

    I am really torn about what I should do. What do you guys think?
    Where do you live? Not a complete picture of your situation...these are the questions I would ask myself:


    Does your wife have benefits to fill the medical insurance gaps?

    How much of a $ difference in pay each month?

    I'm sure you've seen your grocery bills going up in the past few years...after you factor in continued price increases (food and fuel inflation of 10-20% year over year) can you still put food on the table and pay the mortgage?

    You said the department was previously 100% union...does this mean they laid off full time firefighters and hired part timers? If so, would you be prepared to be labeled as a "scab" and possibly hurt your reputation in future hiring processes? Does the department have a track record of hiring part timers?

    One more thing...honestly...being a part timer doesn't bolster your resume as much as you think. Why take the hit in the pocketbook when you can work to improve yourself as a candidate for a lot less money?

    Getting hired isn't about certs, resumes, part time experience, etc. It's all about mastering the testing process and molding yourself into the best candidate you can possibly be.

  9. #9
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    well said powerhour

  10. #10
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    Your number one priority is to take care of your family, NOT to get hired as a firefighter. Another thing to keep in mind is that not every opportunity is a GOOD one.

    If you are being offered a position, it would seem to me that you are doing the right things. You have found a nice combination of experience, training and education that impressed the department. It may be wise to pass on this opportunity and keep testing. This validates that you are on the right path.
    Good luck with your decision.

    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    AspiringFirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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