Hey everyone, this isn't a joke and everything im about to say is serious. I have made poor choices in my past. Before i had anything to do with Firefighting or EMS i was doing drugs. Nothing to serious but mostly Marijuana and i even have tried bath salts when they came out. Thats all i have done. I was never really good with peer pressure and it wasn't a solo type thing i would only do it in groups. I have been clean from everything for about a year now and im only 17. I became very active in my Fire explorer group and before my first year was up i was already a captain, I am now being elected as the Chief of the group. I am currently in an EMT program also and im getting straight A's. I have made big changes to my life by dropping the people i use to hang out with and staying alone. I have been very dedicated to bodybuilding and dedicated to making my life better. I have been so worried about my past decisions because i don't want them to be the breaking point of me being hired. Many people have told me that they do not care what you have done in the past but im not sure. Both of my brothers are firefighter/paramedics and i know now that i want to follow their footsteps and would do anything to be a Firefighter. I have changed myself for the better but i ask please only comment if you are going to tell me straight up. I dont want anyone being rude. I know what i did was wrong and stupid but people can change.
Nobody is perfect. There are absolutely departments that will hire you if you have experimented with drugs in the past. And if the bath salts that you experimented with were legal at the time, you dont need to disclose that information anyway.
Dont worry too much man.
I am sorry but the guys who told you that "they" don't care about the past are wrong. I know quite a few people that didn't get hird on certian departments becasue of their past "experiences". Alot of deparments are now running polygraphs (Charlotte, Atlanta, and Columbus just to name a few) and past drug use is on all of them. Now realize that you are now going against thousands of other people so just one flaw could keep you out of a job.
Now that I scared you, smoking pot a FEW times most likely will not keep you out of a job. They will chock some of it up to being young and dumb but just realize you need to be carefull and stop all of the dumb stuff. And not all departments run polygraphs...
Whoever told you that "they dont care about the past" doesnt know their azz from a hole in the ground. They absolutely DO care. And remember- for each and every applicant that has a record or past drug use of some sort, there are ten other applicants that have clean records with no drugs at all- who do you think is going to get hired? Thats not to say you wont get hired though. You have the luxury of only being 17 and having the time to enforce your commitment to being clean and sober for several years until someone is ready to hire you.
My recommendation is to go into the Military (if you can get in that is) and do a four year enlistment while you stay clean, sober and committed to being a law abiding citizen. This would be a win-win for you- gets you the 4 year enlistment which looks good on a resume (especially for a Fire Dept) gets you veterans preferance points (good on almost all municipal civil service exams) and teaches you life and job skills that will be invaluable for a future in the fire service.
Keep going for certs and put a few years behind you, then start testing
Past May haunt you
"comment only if youre going to tell me straight up.... i dont want anyone being rude" - do you really think at 17, youre going to tell adult how to response to what your asking?
keep doing what youre doing, stay away from drugs and alcohol even after 21. youre only 17, so mostly likely youre still a few years away from being a real candidate depending on where you are. when the time comes if asked about drug use, just be honest. but they dont ask you about it, dont mention it. the only time i see drug-use as a minor being an issue is when you get busted and/or criminal record. get an education (degree) and get experience. you're right people can change.
also, i disagree FWDBuff's reason to join the military. join b/c you want to serve, not for the fire service.
Legos you are absolutely correct, I usually point that out, too. In this young man's case I was thinking that the military would benefit him greatly by getting him away from his peers, straighten out his life and give him valuable life and job skills- but again, you are correct, do it for these reasons in addition to wanting to be patriotic and truly WANTING to serve your country. Any benefits that you may be able to reap for a Fire Dept career are exactly that- benefits.
Originally Posted by legos.8ty7
I agree that the military is an excellent opportunity for someone to straighten up their life. In this situation, this young man has already done that. He is on the straight and narrow (GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!).
Keep doing the good things you are doing.
You stated "Mostly Marijuana", this implies there are other drugs. Pot usuage is one thing, other drugs are not so benign.
As others have pointed out, WE ABSOLUTELY DO CARE ABOUT YOUR PAST. You cannot change what you have done, but you can impact the future. Your best friend with any issue is TIME. The more time between you and the "incident", the better.
Best of luck to you and stay on course!