Ok, I don't know if I'm posting this in the right place, I've never been on a forum before to ask a question so here I go.
I'm a new firefighter EMT in Ohio. I've been trying to get a job the past 6 months since graduating with my certification. I'm a 19 year old male, I'm in decent firefighter shape(CPAT a few seconds short of 8 minutes, run six miles 4 times a week) and I graduated as the Valedictorian of my class and school. I've never gotten a ticket, never been in an accident, never done drugs, and have never been arrested. I've tested for several departments and have done reasonably well on most. (Lets face it when I first started testing and filling out applications I had no idea what I was doing compared to now.)
I have progressively gotten further and further into the testing process as time has gone by, but I think I've hit a dead end. The past two departments I've gone in for interviews for the Chief(and the other instance the Captain) told me that I was a wonderful candidate, but for the most part they're going to pass me over because I'm wet behind the ears, and green like the grass on a golf course. Which wouldn't be such a big deal if I didn't have so many other firefighters vouching that I'm a great kid and will make a good firefighter.(I'm an explorer, local fire department, and I'm pretty well liked up there)So lately I've been thinking about pursuing one of my other plans, the Marine corp Reserves(I originally placed this on the backburner, and tried to get my foot in the door with a department as a part-timer and pursuing my paramedic certification)
I have always wanted to be a marine, even before I fell in love with firefighting. Now I finally get to my question, I was wondering if the Marine Corp would help plead my case with fire departments more than medic school at the moment? I mainly want to prove that I'm not some stupid irresponsible 19 year old. I can go into the marines whenever I want, they want me bad. Also I'm going to do my paramedic training as well, but I was wondering if some of you firefighters may have some advice to help my current problem. The next class at the medic school I want to go to is another 4 months down the road. I just don't want to wait four months and not have made any improvements to my current situation(I'm an admitted workaholic). I can't even land a spot as a volunteer firefighter despite all the people I know, and that vouch for me. Sorry for making such a long post, I hope someone actually got to the end of this and can offer some advice. Basically, will the Marines help me prove to fire departments that I'm capable, and that they should see more in my application than, 19 year old male.
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11-19-2012, 09:20 AM #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
Rookie seeking advice of veteran firefighters.
11-19-2012, 09:54 AM #2
You said the one thing I like to hear when it comes to joining the military: You want to join because you WANT to join. Not because you're looking for a leg up.
With that said, you are young, and very few departments will be willing to take that chance on you regardless of how much you want it. Because in their eyes, you are being lumped into the lot of many 19 year olds; no direction, irresponsible/reckless and unmotivated.
Successful completion of medic school and/or any college will set you above many candidates, as it shows your ability to stick to a curriculum and self-motivation. And having paramedic certification will open some more doors for you when it comes to being able to test. However, it is not an absolute when it comes to getting the job.
Many firefighters I know have the regret that they never went into the military. If it is something you have the desire for already, I say to go for it. Serving a greater purpose is more important than serving yourself. In the long run with the military service, you will be eligible for "veteran's points" on fire service hiring lists. But just like having your medic or college, it is still not a guarantee. The combination of all of the above, makes you most any department's ideal candidate.
The military isn't easy. But if it's something you have wanted to do, my recommendation is to do it. You'll come out more experienced, able to handle stressful situations easier than the 19 yo that didn't go in, and proud of your service and sacrifice you made for your country.
Last edited by ffbam24; 11-19-2012 at 09:57 AM.
11-19-2012, 12:03 PM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
I guess they were born firefighters and not wet behind the ears!!!
Will the military help you, to me it helps you know your limitations and does help you mature, only if you let it!!!
Why can't you get on as a volunteer!!!! Now that kind of bothers me, unless there is an age restriction.
Sounds like you are willing to travel.
Come on down to Texas the weathers fine
Paramedic betters your chances
11-19-2012, 01:51 PM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
ffbam pretty much nailed it. your issue is your age, most dept. arent going to seriously look at you. you have little life experience. dont let not getting on at 19 make you think you need to start with a backup plan, just keep at it and practice your interview skills.
my concern is with the medic part is, how much time as an emt do you?
im not going to lie, your line "the marines want me bad" made me laugh. recruiters want you if they havent met their quota.
11-19-2012, 06:16 PM #5
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
Thank you guys so much for the responses, everyone this really has been a huge help to me. I really want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. These responses really have added a lot of perspective to me and how I need to have a little more patience, and take some serious time to think about my next move. Thank you guys so much for these responses.
11-19-2012, 08:44 PM #6
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
- Salt Lake City, Ut
Welcome to the world of Firefighting! It takes more than just six months to get hired. You're age should not be a factor if you are a good candidate on paper. You sound like you are in decent shape, and have got some smarts. But don't let yourself get too cocky. Your post made it sound like you were the baddest mother effer that ever walked the face. No offense, but don't let your attitude that you are king get in the way of everything else. Just relax, take a breath, and keep pushing forward. Sounds like the Dept's you tested for already knew what, or who, they wanted. That's how the fire service goes. And PLEASE don't join the military just because you get extra points! You are no bigger a man just because you are in the military. Don't even get me started on the extra points. I think it is extremely unfair. Just because you voluntarily sign up and get sent to war does not make you a better person to a dept. or anything else, for that matter. No disrespect. Point is, like everyone else said, just keep trying. And make sure you get some field experience as an EMT before you go for your medic. All these guys want jobs, and hurry through medic school and have no street experience! Medics are on every corner. Good medics are hard to find nowadays. You'll get it eventually. Good luck!
11-24-2012, 11:42 AM #7
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
Also please don't get your medic just to get a leg up. I agree as well it's your age that is keeping you back. They say the sweet spot age is around 24-27 for getting hired in most places. You seem like a great candidate already just give it time.
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