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Thread: Is 40 too old?

  1. #1
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    Default Is 40 too old?

    I will be 40 in March and just got an update for Milwaukee FD that there looking to start an academy in fall. Iíve been on the list for 3-4 years and have pretty much given up on getting a call. Now Iím out of shape and donít know what to do. I still need to take the CPAT so I started working out again. I donít even know if I will be in the next class there just collecting the data on who still want in and if you need any further testing. I would love to be a fire fighter but how will my age factor in with the younger guys.
    I have not taken any of the FF classes as Iím married with 2 kids and money is tight. The last time I called about the list I was 130 ish so we put the time and money to other things. Now with the letter my wife and I are excited. I know I may still be low on the list but thereís light in the tunnel.

  2. #2
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    Keep fighting. Get your butt back in shape and don't lose it again... always be ready. I've seen guys hired after 40 w/ great depts right next to a 20 year old. If you've done EVERYTHING possible to make yourself the best candidate, then you will make it. If you make excuses for why you haven't done everything possible, and don't believe you're the best candidate, then you probably won't make it. Don't give up and give everything to attain your goal!
    GmanH2o likes this.

  3. #3
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    if you really want the job go for it!!!

    Sounds like you have nothing to lose

  4. #4
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    I'm a volunteer, not career FF, but I was 50 when I went through the academy and my only regret is that I didn't have the opportunity to do it sooner. Getting in shape for the CPAT, and being motivated to stay in shape, has been a great fringe benefit. If you really want to be a firefighter, go for it!

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    My department has had quite a few recruits make it through our 23 week recruit school past the age of 45/50, it's all about your determination. This is the best job in the world, go for it.

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    Well I received my e-mail for EMT training and dates for CPAT.
    I didnít know the EMT training was so long, 12weeks. I talked with the wife and itíll be hard working and then go to training for 4 hours M-TH for the 12 weeks. But itís what I want to do.
    How Iím I going to fit in training for the CPAT? I wonít get home until 10:30pm and then up at 6:00 with the kids. I can try and fit it in the morning and I have Friday and the weekend.
    But it looks good as long as I get through everything. Wish me luck.
    P.S. any info on how the EMT classes are run? Are they like class room?

  7. #7
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    Way to go

    Time will fly by when you are studying

    If the children are old enough get them out and run/ exercise with them

    Or if small use them as exercise equipment , put them on your back and run

    Way to go 12 weeks will fly, will get the family to pull together

  8. #8
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    What state are you in

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    Your EMT class will run like any other class you have taken with the exception that there is quite a bit of "hands on" work that is done. Assuming Wisconsin teaches to NREMT you will have to pass not only written tests throughout but also a practical final. None of the practical work is hard, you just need to be able to memorize skill sheets to make sure you hit all your points come test time. There is also a written final that is taken on a computer. Take this ASAP after your class as most people I know that had issues had them with this test. If you put in the time and are a good student, you'll have no problem what so ever. Good luck!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrashock View Post
    I will be 40 in March and just got an update for Milwaukee FD that there looking to start an academy in fall. Iíve been on the list for 3-4 years and have pretty much given up on getting a call. Now Iím out of shape and donít know what to do. I still need to take the CPAT so I started working out again. I donít even know if I will be in the next class there just collecting the data on who still want in and if you need any further testing. I would love to be a fire fighter but how will my age factor in with the younger guys.
    I have not taken any of the FF classes as Iím married with 2 kids and money is tight. The last time I called about the list I was 130 ish so we put the time and money to other things. Now with the letter my wife and I are excited. I know I may still be low on the list but thereís light in the tunnel.
    Age us nothing but a number. Go for it and don't give up. I would like to give a little advice if you don't mine. It is very important to stay in shape do too health reasons; especially if you have a family.

  11. #11
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    Milwaukee, WI.
    I did a 2yr degree in 1 1/2 years and worked full time. But that was 10 years ago. Now I have a 8yr old and 5yr old. I do have have a great wife that works also and Grandma (My mom) said she'll help out too.
    I would like to hear or talk to anyone in the Milwaukee FD though.

  12. #12
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    They have hired 50 y/o before. I'm also from milwaukee area, wish I could have made the cut. I have a dept out of state that's looking good though. I also have kids, 4 of them. I'm 42, in pretty good shape. If its what you really want, you will MAKE it work. This will be the last class run off that list from what u have heard.

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    AirForce said it perfectly.

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    Default Is 40 too old?

    Before I say this...in no way is this to be mean, or bring you down. THIS IS TO MAKE YOU ANSWER A SERIOUS QUESTION! THAT NOT ONLY IS A LIFE OR DEATH MATTER FOR YOU BUT YOU FUTURE BROTHERS ALSO!!!

    If you were in the running, 130 ish on the list, and hadn't gotten a letter saying "Sorry Better luck next time..." Why would you let yourself go and fall back into old routines? Is it because deep inside you really don't think this is the position for you? Or is it because you really don't care about pushing yourself to the next level? This CAREER not "JOB" is the best in the world, I more than agree that! But its not something you can let yourself get broken down on! ESPECIALLY not on the waiting game... that's part of it. CPAT is just as much mental as it is physical. IF YOU WANT IT COME GET IT BROTHER!!!!!!

    Best of luck
    GmanH2o likes this.

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    Age
    The following is an excerpt from The Aspiring Firefighters
    Two Year Plan

    Everyone has an opinion of age when it comes to hiring new firefighters.
    Some people feel that a younger candidate has a better chance of getting hired because, after all, the fire departments are looking to hire a candidate for the next 30 years.

    If a fire department hires a 21 or 22-year-old, the department can train the recruit before he or she has a chance to develop “bad” habits. Furthermore, since the agency wants to get the most money for its training dollars, hiring a firefighter at a young age ensures that it will get at least 30 years of service out of him or her.

    Younger candidates generally have fewer personal and financial obligations and are more likely to have the free time to pursue relevant education and training prior to being hired. This is highly prized by many departments, as they do not have to pay for it.

    Younger firefighters are generally in better physical condition. They will do well in high impact areas of the community where the job is very physically demanding. In addition, they will usually work out in the station, which can be contagious to the other firefighters. Ultimately they may be the cause of the entire shift working out together.

    Younger firefighters are often very concerned about eating properly and are more educated about nutrition. Quite commonly, older firefighters pay little attention to healthy eating in the fire station. A younger firefighter may educate the crew about eating turkey burgers instead of ground beef, or on the importance of taking vitamins.

    Additionally, hiring younger firefighters minimizes the chances of hiring an employee with a pre-existing injury. It is true that a pre-employment medical exam will identify many of these injuries; however, with the implementation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, agencies are not failing nearly as many candidates as in years past. Since many candidates have successfully litigated and won a job, medical disqualifications have become less frequent.

    The converse to these potential benefits is the fact that a younger candidate has spent the majority of his or her life at home with minimal responsibilities. Predictably, this will not be well received in a fire station. This is especially true since it is expected that the rookie is the one who makes sure all of the little things are done around the station. These are the same things that mom did at home for him or her.

    Another factor when dealing with “younger” candidates is the fact that they are going to be living and working with mature (relatively speaking) adults. It can be difficult for a younger person to fit in with a group of older adults, especially firefighters. Fitting in is difficult to begin with, especially when you consider that a respected member of the crew may have been moved to another station to make room for the new firefighter. The displaced crewmember probably contributed to the chemistry and cohesiveness of the crew and now an“outsider” has been assigned.

    Maturity is an important quality for a young firefighter. Since he or she has usually led a sheltered life while in college or living at mom and dad’s, it is likely that the rookie simply does not have extensive life experience. Imagine what you were like five years ago. How about 10 years ago? How much have your values and work ethic changed? I guarantee you are a different person. You have matured by virtue of your life experiences.

    An older applicant, on the other hand, will usually fit in much better than a younger one. He or she has spent years in the work force learning what it takes to get along and has learned acceptable social behavior through “life experience.”

    Many departments prefer “older” candidates to younger ones. Since these departments are looking to hire firefighters with life experience, older candidates fit the bill. An older candidate will do whatever it takes to earn (and keep) the job. A candidate with more work experience may have a greater appreciation of his or her new job on the fire department.

    Many older candidates have worked in a variety of difficult jobs. These range from roofing, carpentry, plastering or working behind a desk in corporate America. All of these jobs may include long hours, inadequate pay, little or no medical benefits, minimal flexibility, poor job security and, oftentimes, minimal job satisfaction. A career in the fire service offers good pay and benefits, job security and retirement as well as job satisfaction. Hiring a more mature firefighter gives you a rookie who feels like he or she got a new lease on his or her employment life.

    Older firefighters usually bring a lot to the job. If they have spent their lives working in the trades, they bring knowledge of plumbing, electrical and carpentry, as well as the skills of using various hand and power tools

    Most importantly, older firefighters generally fit in with the crew more easily than younger firefighters. Their life experience gives them a strong platform on which to base their career.

    A candidate who is considering leaving an established job has a lot to lose. Add a mortgage payment, a spouse and a couple of children to the equation and this candidate has a lot on the line. The candidate is taking a pay cut, losing benefits and most importantly, losing job security. It is not likely that an employer will give an employee back his or her job after leaving it. People who have a lot at stake make terrific employees. It doesn’t matter how hard things get, he or she is going to have the drive to succeed. There is just too much to lose.

    As you can see, there are benefits to hiring both younger and older candidates in the fire service. My personal belief is that most fire departments prefer to hire rookie firefighters who are in their late twenties to early thirties.

    Being married and owning a home strengthens their profile. Having a couple of children completes the equation.

    This is not to say that candidates in their early 20’s or early 40’s will not be considered; they will simply have to demonstrate that they are the
    exception to the rule. It’s up to the candidates to demonstrate that their personality traits, maturity and experience make them the best choice for the job. A fire department will consider much more than age when making a hiring decision.

    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    AspiringFirefighters.com
    Last edited by paulLepore; 08-08-2013 at 10:56 PM.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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