Howdy, I'm new
Howdy and salutations, I'm Wolf.
First and foremost, I'm not a firefighter yet. Truthfully, three weeks ago I was aiming to be a landscape architect. However, I had been watching alot of 9/11 videos on YouTube recently and felt inspired to become a firefighter. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
I've always felt a subconscious connection to firefighting my whole life. I know this doesn't mean much and doubt it would mean much in an interview or anything. But for some reason, I've felt a certain respect for firefighters that is difficult to put into words.
I'm also extremely comfortable around fire. I was quite the pyromaniac when I was younger and accidentally burned down part of my backyard with a battery and newspapers. I obviously know I would be extinguishing fires instead of starting them, but I've always felt comfortable around fire. It doesn't scare me.
But most importantly, I want to help people. Whenever someone asks for help with something, regardless of the task, I'm happy to help them. If someone asks if I can do something, I always say "sure, I can do that". I know these are minor things compared to the things firefighters do, but I like to help people out. Heck, I donate blood whenever I'm eligible to donate. I don't do it for the t-shirts or Walmart gift cards. I do it because I know I'm helping someone I don't know and I hope I improved someone's life.
Before I start to write an essay, I'll wrap this up. To conclude, I'm completely new to this. I am an Eagle Scout so I'm familiar with some basic stuff (first aid, etc) but in terms of education and physical training, I'm completely new. I'll keep you all updated with my progress and hopefully make some new firefighting friends :)
Definitely look into starting a fire academy. Not too sure what your schedule is but full time and part time classes are offered almost everywhere. Fire academy will not only get you physically familiar with the job, but def get your foot in the door as to what the job is like and what it takes. Youre in the north tampa area? Im not too familiar with training up there but i would imagind you have some good choices for Academies choosing between Hillsborough and pinellas. Fire academy is just the beginning. Then comes EMT, Paramedic school, possibly volunteering, and then on to trying to find jobs like the rest of us lol.
Originally Posted by DKH884
Howdy. I'm currently going to SPC. I hope to finish my AA degree this fall. I was talking with my counselor today and he said I'm more than half done with AS degree if I go with firefighting. But if I move forward with AS degree, about 4 of my 5 years at college were completely wasted.
I registered for an EMT class this fall along with a medical terminology class. Hopefully this will be a good entry point and will move on to the next step in a few months. SPC offers a fire program at the Allstate campus in St Pete which I will be doing next year.
In the meantime, I'm going to start working out to get in the best physical condition of my life. I'm not overweight, I'm just weak from lack of exercise, but nothing I can't fix.
My goal is to start volunteer firefighting sometime next year.
I have a couple questions about volunteer firefighting:
1) Do I have to buy my own gear? (I believe the answer is yes, but just making sure)
2) How much do they allow volunteer firefighters to participate? What are some things volunteer firefighters can't do that paid firefighters can?
3) Do volunteer firefighters need much experience or is basically anyone can do it?
That's good, sounds like you've got a solid gameplan. As far as volunteering, each dept has their own way of doing things, especially from state to state (I'm from Michigan, new to FL). I would say that 99% of depts issue volunteer ff's their own gear, so I wouldn't worry about that. Like I said, all depts are different when it comes to SOPs and rules, but I would imagine that they let most volunteers participate as much as they want in dept functions. As far as emergency calls go, what you can do as a vol varies. Depending on your training and dept SOPs mostly. And finally, some depts require at least your ff and EMT Certs to start as a volunteer, and others will hire vol off the street and train them (depending on if they see some potential). If you're in Pasco county, look into what they offer as far as a volunteer structure for you to get involved in. I believe they have 6 vol stations.
You will make a great Fire and Rescue worker. Welcome to the profession.