1. #1
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    Default Volunteering at College

    As someone who was recently, finally, accepted to university I have been reading up a bit more on this particular university. I came across the Kingston VFD, which seemingly has a residency program.

    When I go to uni, I am going to probably have to live there. Its a bit of a commute from where I am situated to URI. However I am adamant about my wanting to continue to volunteer firefighting. What can I say, I got bit by the bug!

    My concerns are how is this going to work out. And this is where I was hoping for some incite from you guys...

    Due to the fact that I will have to undertake a probie period and meet some other requirements, it looks like I will be living in Freshman housing initially... Heres my first concern, how well does this sort of arrangement work with volunteering; apart from the irritated roommate from the 3am alarm, as far as I know parking can be across campus! {Can anyone who is with the department clarify?}

    Secondly, say I do get admitted into the program second semester or second year, how conducive is such a programme to working towards degree? I realise there is always that possibility of getting up at 3am and not getting back to bed all day, but say tones go out before class, and you end up getting kept past when you have class, are professors/universities sympathetic to this?

    Anything I should consider? Any advice?

    So in summary, I am preparing for my Freshman year at the University of RI, and considering living there. I however want to continue volunteering. I am considering applying with the local VFD who has a residency program, however I would like advice; any advice..well.. most advice is good advice, so please speak up!

    Thank You!

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    You might check with the college, some have freshman year on campus policy

    Do you have any college credits yet???

    Have you decided on a degree???

    If you decide to volunteer look into online courses at your college, cuts way down on seat time
    But you must be disciplined and able to learn on your own. I cannot do math online

    As far as going to a fire, some classes, especially ones with a lab are none missable

    Do the teachers care if you show up to a class most do not, they consider you an adult and are on your own to pass

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    As far as I can find, there is no required year on campus due to it being a State school.

    I do have a few credits... but I am not absolutely certain how many... (HS Course, EEP)

    I have decided on my degrees... Bachelors in Anthropology, possibly double majoring in Chemistry, and then onto my Juris Doctor, although that could be at another Uni...

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    Sounds like after your first year, you will be very involved with school


    Suggest focus on school first, maybe volunteer but only when you find time

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    It's entirely possible that the fire departments in the area are very used to dealing with students who are firefighters, and may adapt to school requirements by allowing you to do shifts and the like, even if you don't live at the station.

    The only way to find out is to ask. Unless previous volunteers have given them a bad taste, I'm sure they'll point you in the direction of a department that will accept your services, even if they don't.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Oi, sorry, I may have misspoke: They do accept volunteers, as a matter of fact their website says so. My question was more to if it was feasible to do so, especially with rigorous course-loads. Sorry if I misspoke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highschoolvolunteer View Post
    Oi, sorry, I may have misspoke: They do accept volunteers, as a matter of fact their website says so. My question was more to if it was feasible to do so, especially with rigorous course-loads. Sorry if I misspoke.
    Yes, it is possible to do college and volunteer fire. The VFD where I went to college (Penn State) has a lot of college students as members. At the time I was there, they didn't have live-ins or do shift time. The biggest thing to being successful is knowing how to balance the two properly.

    Considering how much you and/or your parents will be spending on tuition and how much you won't be paid for your time volunteering, school should be your top priority. College (should) only lasts a few years and depending on where you end up living, you'll likely have many more years in which to volunteer.

    Don't skip class or leave class to run calls, even if it might be "the big one". They'll manage without you.

    Don't put yourself in a position where you can't get your school work done because you were too busy playing fireman.

    Don't use playing fireman as an excuse for not meeting your school requirements. Conversely, don't use school as an excuse for not meeting your FD requirements. Once you start to, it will continue and the only thing that says is that you don't have the time and/or commitment to do both and one has to go and you may not be able to see that.

    If the VFD is used to having a bunch of college kids around, then they already know there's a limit to your availability. Besides, they likely already have members with real jobs, families and limited availability so you'll fit right in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highschoolvolunteer View Post
    Oi, sorry, I may have misspoke: They do accept volunteers, as a matter of fact their website says so. My question was more to if it was feasible to do so, especially with rigorous course-loads. Sorry if I misspoke.
    I'd say the feasibility will be determined by your desire to make it work. In life, most of us find time to do the things that are important to us. Your previous posts have indicated a strong desire to volunteer. I balance owning a business that gets at least 50 hours of my week, 5 kids and the upkeep of a 110 acre farm. I still find time to be a very dedicated member of my VFD because it is important to me. Do 3am tones suck? You bet they do; but the Brotherhood and helping people on their worst day is worth it.

    You can balance it all if you want it badly enough.

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    5 kids for 110 acres... I smell delegation.. lol joking.

    I guess we will just have to see how it plays out...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highschoolvolunteer View Post
    5 kids for 110 acres... I smell delegation.. lol joking.

    I guess we will just have to see how it plays out...
    Oh I work 'em all, don't worry.

    Good luck on your journey!

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    We don't have a school near us, but several of our members did volunteer locally while they were attending college. Some schools, UMD College Park specifically, have special arrangements and stations that serve as dorms.

    As others have said, you're spending a lot of money for the degree.. that has priority. Though being a VFF at school is a more meaningful distraction then "other" things frequently done on campus.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
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    I see no reason it shouldn't be possible, but you have to prioritize and remember that school comes first. That's why you are paying to be there.

    Be upfront about your responsibilities and time commitments. No one likes surprises, so brief your potential VFD about what you can and can't do. Same goes for the professors. Some classes you may be able to miss a couple times without consequence. Others you will not. If there is a chance you will not be back before something you can't miss, you'd best not go. Volunteer firefighting is important, but it doesn't pay the bills. School and work come first, so plan around that. But budget your time wisely, and you will have plenty.

    I don't know what is possessing you to want your Juris Doctor, but I would advise this: Think about what jobs you would want if you weren't going to practice law, and get an undergraduate degree that would get you that job. If you are getting a degree in anthropology, what job would you like that degree would get you? Same for a double with chemistry? How would adding chemistry benefit your anthropology degree? Lots of people plan on going to law school. A whole lot less actually gain acceptance, graduate and pass the bar. Even after that, many do not stay long. If being a volunteer firefighter is important to you, then consider that you will likely not be able to be a volunteer firefighter in either law school or after you graduate if you are practicing law.

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    I volunteered at college on both the fire and rescue side of a student run fire and rescue service while at college. In fact, I served as Captain, Asst. Chief/Training Officer and Chief on the fire side and did fine in the classroom.

    The fire department was not overlly busy as we primarily ran to alarms, smoke investigations and the infrquent minor fore - auto, brush, trash, oven, etc - and ran some mutual aid with 8 or 9 small towns. On the rescue side we were fairly busy as we were THE EMS provider and transport agency for 400 square miles and the same 8 or 9 small towns. As a rule I ran 1-2 12-hour rescue shifts per week.

    At the same time I also played on the rugby team, and did some work with the college radio station.

    During the summer I would run 3 or 4 12-hour shifts.

    As far as the roomate stuff, can't help you there much as the college had dorm rooms over the fire and rescue bays in a seperate building as an option for the fire/rescue members. I lived in that building from my sophomore year on.

    As it has been stated, it's all about managing your time and relaizing that the classroom work does come first, and yes, sacrificing some of the other social stuff on campus.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-27-2013 at 05:01 PM.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Sorry I haven't kept up with this... quite busy recently with multiple fires last night...

    I realise I will have to make some sacrifices... I am not generally a social butterfly anyway! So no skin off my behind...

    As for the degree, I get what you're saying. I recognise that it is an odd choice and even more so I am beginning to wonder what to do beyond HS. Part of me says apply to the fire academy and look for a career position. Another part says stay the course with anthro. Another part of me says give up and find a cushy box to live in.... jk.... I am thinking more and more about possibly majoring in Political Science or Business, although I royally suck at maths...

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