1. #1
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    Default Best region in the US for firefighting?

    I'm a Fire Explorer and in my senior year of high school and my goal is to become a professional firefighter. I plan on going to college and getting a 4 year degree in Spanish and have been accepted to 5 schools: UConn, Umass, San Diego State, University of San Fransisco and Florida State. Since I plan on serving in the Reserves or National Guard I will be looking for a job in whatever state I go to school in after I graduate. Between the South, Northeast and the West what region has the most firefighting job opportunities? Is the difference in job opportunities between regions significant enough that it should be a factor in my decision of where to go to school?

    Also, what is more valuable to have when applying to full time departments, EMT-B certification or volunteer fire experience? While having both would be great, there aren't very good EMT training options at UMass and UConn, the two schools with volunteer fire departments I have been accepted to. Being able to be a volunteer firefighter throughout college would be awesome and is really appealing in the short term but at the same time in terms of my career I'm not sure how helpful it would be.

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    UMass does the Student Force with Amherst Fire. Drive about 45 mins from the UMass campus. Greenfield Community College has an excellent EMT-B course and Paramedic Course. I believe there are Emt-B courses offered at UMass from the same instructor from GCC. What I have experience and been told, becoming a Paramedic will open a lot more opportunities for you in the fire service. You might want to consider the Fire Science program at GCC too. A degree in Fire Science would help too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyW View Post
    I'm a Fire Explorer and in my senior year of high school and my goal is to become a professional firefighter. I plan on going to college and getting a 4 year degree in Spanish and have been accepted to 5 schools: UConn, Umass, San Diego State, University of San Fransisco and Florida State. Since I plan on serving in the Reserves or National Guard I will be looking for a job in whatever state I go to school in after I graduate. Between the South, Northeast and the West what region has the most firefighting job opportunities? Is the difference in job opportunities between regions significant enough that it should be a factor in my decision of where to go to school?

    Also, what is more valuable to have when applying to full time departments, EMT-B certification or volunteer fire experience? While having both would be great, there aren't very good EMT training options at UMass and UConn, the two schools with volunteer fire departments I have been accepted to. Being able to be a volunteer firefighter throughout college would be awesome and is really appealing in the short term but at the same time in terms of my career I'm not sure how helpful it would be.
    If you are going to major in Spanish, go to a region where they will pay incentive pay for bi-lingual. My department, and many in Texas do pay you extra cash for being bi-lingual. We have three tiers of pay for it based on proficiency. I would assume that many departments in the west would do this (Texas through California). And many places in the Southwest are doing much better economically than the rest of the nation, cities are growing and hiring firefighters.

    EMT-B is a requirement for many places. Volunteerism is great, but for many civil service departments it will not mean squat. A civil service department is what you should strive to get to, job security, laws apply to promotions and such.

    The volunteering will let you get a taste of the job, make sure it is what you want to do. Good luck.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    The NW is doing fairly well, lot's of places are still hiring. Maybe not as many as in years past, but there are still jobs to be had.

    EMT will help, and volunteering is a good way to get a feel for the job, and make sure you want to do it before investing a lot of time and $$ trying to get hired. The job isn't for everyone.

    Pay is going to be better on the West Coast and in the Northeast than in the South.

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    Columbus OH,
    Class of 50 in June 2010,50 more Dec 2010,60 graduating this Friday,and 35 more that just started,with a new list and plans for more.Not bad for OHIO or the Midwest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donaldtoth View Post
    The US Fire Administration is well known for providing national leadership to local fire services.
    They report fires and other incidents and also maintain records of incident uniformly.
    Granite Countertops
    I see another auto-spammer has made it in.

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    Like others have said EMT-B is a minimum requirement for most fire departments these days. Paramedic can also open more doors as it makes you more marketable no matter where you decide to go. I have always been partial to the northeast so I will leave the location discussion to others. However the extra pay for being bilingual may be something for you to look further into.
    FF II, EMT-P, Hazmat Tech

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    Look for high growth areas... NJ is shrinking and the south is growing.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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