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Thread: 15 day EMT course/ Could use some advice

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    Default 15 day EMT course/ Could use some advice

    Hello All,

    I have a found an ambulance company that is going to be offering a 15 day EMT course in January. I was wondering if anyone has every done something like this and what was your experience like? Did you pass on the first try?

    I was going to wait till next semester (which starts end of January and finishes in May) to take my EMT at my local college. The Problem: I need my EMT by April 25. That is the last filing date for applications for my local department.

    Also, does anyone have any advice for someone who is starting to get very overwhelmed by everything. Between school, dealing with my family (who are not very support of my dream), work, and trying to get hired with the department, I am getting very overwhelmed.

    Sorry for the long post.

    Thanks!!

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    How old are you

    School as in emt or other??

    Family as in mom and dad or married?

    Work as in 40 hours a week or less??

    If you do the 15 day how are you going to get out of work?

    I hate to say do what you can on the upcoming FD application, some not to many get hired first go around

    So look to test everywhere and anywhere


    Do you know anyone with the ambulance company, that is not part of the school to ask??

    In my state you can look at a state web site to see what a schools pass rate is


    If you do the fifteen day you will be living and sleeping it more than likely
    Last edited by fire49; 09-21-2013 at 11:56 AM.

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    Age:19. School: General Ed. Family: Parents and siblings. Work: Anywhere from 40 hours or less. My two jobs are working for my family. Lets just say, my dad would not be very happy if I did the 15 day course.

    I do not know anyone with the ambulance company.

    I don't care that I will be living and sleeping it, if I do the 15 day. I know it will be a lot of hard work, but I'm use to hard work. I work seven days a week and am up at 4 am everyday, so I'm use to it.

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    We'll in a little better position to do this than others

    Guess you need to sit down with parents and discuss that you would like to be a firefighter

    Please support me now

    After you get hired you can still help them on your days off from the FD

    This is something you would like to do and see if you can get hired

    Remember you may not get on where you really want to, and decide if you can handle that and having to travel to test

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    We'll in a little better position to do this than others

    Guess you need to sit down with parents and discuss that you would like to be a firefighter

    Please support me now

    After you get hired you can still help them on your days off from the FD

    This is something you would like to do and see if you can get hired

    Remember you may not get on where you really want to, and decide if you can handle that and having to travel to test

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    Great advice! Thanks.

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    In Indiana you can't get hired in a Career department until your 21, I am sure you have looked into that. Also I would highly recommend the full semester course, you will get so much more out of it! Most Departments I have applied to that have a requirements like that, almost always say "By date of hire" so with that being said the average process is over a year or two so you'd be plenty over with. I would hate to see you waste the money to the the 15 day course and not pass the EMT class or state test in time for the test and be out the money! I started my career by going to a local college and was an EMT-Basic by 18.. let me tell you this, I applied to roughly 18 departments (That is LOW Balling it, ask my family)

    1 - getting my EMT first was the single greatest thing I could have done. it led to full time work until I got on a FD, got me on volly depts, part time depts, helped when applying to full time dept, and most importantly it gave me great exp!!

    2 - It took me literally 6 years to get on a full time department, and that is average here in Indiana..

    I hope any of this helps! again just my experiences! I wish you luck!!
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    Very helpful, thank you. After talking to some friends in my local department, I have decided to pass on the 15 day course and start it next semester. I will just have to wait and see if not having my EMT by the last filing day for applications is going to hurt my chances. Thank you again.

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    I have no idea how competitive the hiring is in San Jose, but I can only guess that it is extremely competitive.

    If that is the case, anything you can do to set yourself apart from the crowd is helpful. Very helpful.

    I worked for my parents prior to becoming a firefighter, they weren't happy about me leaving. Today they could not be more proud of me. So, don't let anyone stop you from chasing your dreams.

    This is what I would do if I were you, I would grab the EMT book, read the thing cover to cover taking notes, sign up for the class and put everything you have in to it. Pass your EMT as fast as you possibly can and then head off to medic school. That will set you apart from the crowd and help you get the job you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwilliekc View Post
    I have no idea how competitive the hiring is in San Jose, but I can only guess that it is extremely competitive.
    It is SUPER competitive. The last time they hired was back in 2011 with a SAFER Grant and even then they hired back 49 firefighters that they had laid off. Up till now, they have only been hiring laterals. The only thing I can say is, I'm not sure how many people are going to want to work for San Jose Fire. The department is having a hard enough time keeping the people that they have. As of now, the department has an acting fire chief because the chief left to work for Las Vegas FD

    "I worked for my parents prior to becoming a firefighter, they weren't happy about me leaving. Today they could not be more proud of me. So, don't let anyone stop you from chasing your dreams."
    Glad to know someone else was in the same boat that I'm in now. I have decided that from now on, I'm not going to let anyone get in the way of my dream.

    "This is what I would do if I were you, I would grab the EMT book, read the thing cover to cover taking notes." Great minds think alike! At the end of last semester, I emailed the EMT teacher at my college to get the info for the book that he is using. Bought it months ago and have been studying it ever since. I have a whole binder of notes because I spent my whole summer reading that book (can you tell I'm not a normal 19 year old? )

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    Kind of off topic but.... slow down for a second, man.
    I understand that you're young and hungry and that's great. But take a second and enjoy the experience. Don't sit inside all summer reading your book and don't dedicate you ENTIRE life, at the age of 19, to becoming a firefighter. Take an EMT class, take some fire science courses, spend time with your friends, have interests outside of the fire department, volunteer outside of the fire department and just have some fun.
    The reality of it is that you're 19. The odds of you getting hired before you're 25 are pretty slim. Departments want some life experience. Make sure you have some.

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    Why does everyone tell me to slow down.....? What's wrong with dedicating my entire life to becoming a firefighter? If you want something really bad, you have to work for it right? Friends?? What friends?? I have my interests outside of the fire department and I volunteer in my community pretty much everyday.

    I'm not trying to be a smart aleck, just curious.

    P.S. Just putting it out there that I am a girl. I don't want to be treated any differently, just feel like I need to put it out there

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    I'll tell you why I feel this way...

    First of all 19, 20 or 21 year old kids generally shouldn't be firefighters. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, maybe you're one of them.

    Second.... I believe that fire departments are in search of a well rounded candidate with outside experiences and interests. It makes for a better employee in the field and in the station. I know some highly qualified candidates that get passed up for jobs. They'll say things like "I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't go out to bars, I don't do this, I don't do that......" You really think a bunch of firefighters are going to want Mr./Mrs. Perfect hanging around all day. They want a normal guy/girl to work with. One that might like to go grab a beer and dinner on their off days, one that might smoke a cigar if the occasion calls for it.

    Third, taking the time to grow up and have some experiences in your life is going to serve you well in this career. I have seen quite a few people, and I've been on the job a short time, be shunned because ALL they want to talk about is the fire department. This job can be stressful and a lot of hard work. When we get back to the station we want some light hearted conversation about sports, what you did that weekend, how the family is doing, etc....try not to be a "fire nerd". Even though I think to some degree we all are.

    I had an old fireman once tell me that this is the best job in the world (which I agree). He also told me not to get too caught up because it's just a small portion of your life.

    And I apologize for assuming you were male. Thats my bad and definitely something I need to be more aware of.

    Best of luck to you.
    It really is an incredible career.
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    Thank you for your honesty and I can see where you are coming from. As I'm starting to thinking about it, the reason I guess I'm trying so hard to get in the fire service is because I guess I'm trying to prove something to not only my family, but to myself. I'm not really sure what I'm trying to prove.

    Apology accepted. Don't sweat it, I've just learned that I need to say it because some people get in a way "weird" when they find out I'm a girl. Me personally, I am a tomboy 100%, so I really don't care.
    Last edited by FF14; 10-11-2013 at 02:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF14 View Post
    Thank you for your honesty and I can see where you are coming from. As I'm starting to thinking about it, the reason I guess I'm trying so hard to get in the fire service is because I guess I'm trying to prove something to not only my family, but to myself. I'm not really sure what I'm trying to prove.

    Apology accepted. Don't sweat it, I've just learned that I need to say it because some people get in a way "weird" when they find out I'm a girl. Me personally, I am a tomboy 100%, so I really don't care.
    I say go for it

    Depending on what state it is normally a long process to get hired

    Not sure about the proving thing? To me it is do you want to be a firefighter, get hired and do a great job and let that talk for you

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    Where is the ambulance located at? Is it a Fri-Sun deal? The one I took is in Modesto at Abrams College. The head instructor Bob is very knowledge and funny as hell. Its 5 weeks Fri- Sun 8am-5pm.

    For San Jose, I will tell you right now, San Jose will be VERY VERY competitive. I know because 5 people from my unit ( CAL FIRE Mendocino) as well as a dozen or so other people I know who are taking it with ALOT of fire experience. I am also going to take that test. If you want, take the Long Beach test by November 8th through national testing network. You dont need an EMT and its good experience to test around. If you havent gone through a fire academy, go through one. It will better help you if you really want to be a Firefighter. CalFire is also a great way to gain experience, knowledge and experience.

    As for your parents,I recommend you put a list together about the reasons why you want to be a firefighter, a list of pros and cons for them on why you should do the EMT course. And if you want, bring them to a station and meet some of the guys/gals at the station and see what they do. I know a captain in San Jose who is very knowledge and very friendly. I can give you his info on what station hes at if you want.

    If you cant do the fire academy, Up here in Mendocino we are hosting a Basic Wildland Firefighter Academy. Its free and you get most of the qualifications you need to get hired with us. I will be helping with this academy. its FRI Sat Sun for 9-10 weekends. I posted information and website about it underneath the wildland firefighting section in the forums.

    Lastly, gain volunteer experience if you can. Some volunteer departments host EMT courses as well. I know theres one near San Jose called Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department. I dont know how far you are away from this but I HIGHLY recommend looking into it at least. Heres the website- http://www.svvfd.org/ Thats how I started in the fire service was by being a Volunteer Firefighter.

    Please dont hesitate to ask me any questions, or concerns you may have. I will help you as much as i can. I wouldnt be where I am today without the help of others in the fire service and what I need to get in.

    Goodluck
    Last edited by Gino_Galli; 10-11-2013 at 11:59 PM.

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    @fire49 - Thank you!
    @Gino - Wow! Thank you! The 15 day class is Monday through Friday. I've decided that I'm just going to wait till next semester to take my EMT. I do have a few questions.
    1: When are you going to be taking the test? I am taking it Oct. 24. Just wondering: Why do want to work for SJ?
    2: Who do you know in SJ Fire? I know a lot of the people who work for SJ Fire, so I'm curious.
    3: Is housing available for the Wildland Firefighter Academy? I am very interested in it, its just the logistics are a problem for me.
    I was thinking about applying with CalFire again this year, but I have a feeling that if I don't do that Academy, my chances of getting hired are going to be the same as last year.
    As for my parents: I've decided that I'm just going to focus on getting hired, not on trying to get them to understand why I want to be in the fire service. I have tried so many times to try to get them to understand, that its gotten to the point I've stop talking about it to them.
    I will look in to the Spring Valley Department. I had heard about them about a year ago, but wasn't sure if they were a legit department.

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    1) Depends when we get laid off for the fire season. Either the 24th or Nov 7th. I want to work for them because its a great department, and a fulltime ( year round) job not seasonal like CAL FIRE.
    It is hard to be a Firefighter 2( Year round firefighter) with CAL FIRE unless you are a Paramedic.

    2) Last name Chua. He worked with my dad for 10 years as a firefighter before my dad retired after 16 years.

    3) Housing may be available for the wildland academy. It is located at our headquarters in Willits and during that time their will be noone their except academy personel and captains/chiefs. When on the academy website, you can email for questions I believe. I would ask to see if thats a possibility. Theres alot of empty beds.

    4) For CALFIRE, I know on the website it says minimum requirements are to be over 18. But actually to get an interview, Minimum is to be an EMT or First Responder ( But mainly EMT), The CAL FIRE 69 ( now 180) hour basic wildland academy cert, Hazardous Materials First Responder Operational, and Confined Space Awareness. The more classes you take, the better. This academy will help you with pretty much all 4 and then some. And its FREE! This course normally cost $500+. I recommend applying for all 21 units ( the 9 lower units you must hand in personally, and the 12 nothern you can mail in so start there). You dont know until you actually do it.

    I believe I met some guys from Spring Valley while I was on the Rim Fire. It is a legit department, and most departments is experience no matter if legit or not. And most of the time you get the right qualifications through them ( such as FF1).

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    #1: I hope you get hired with SJ! I'm glad someone else thinks SJ Fire is a great department. The city is making them out to be the bad guys, so not a lot of people want to work for the city.
    #2: hmm..I'm not sure I know him. What station does he work for?
    #3: I will email and ask. I will let you know if I hear anything. If housing is available, that would be a big help. Plus, can't beat FREE!!! I just would need to figure out my work situation and the other five days that I would have off from class. ( I just realized that I don't finish my semester till Dec. 18. my classes are Monday/Wednesday.)
    #4: You have just managed to convinced me to apply with CALFIRE.
    #5: Good to know.

    Thank you very much!!
    Last edited by FF14; 10-12-2013 at 11:40 PM.

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    Actually, I can think of no better way to spend my time than training, reading, and doing the JOB. I farm and ranch, have two little kids, have a wonderful wife, and i am generally busy as hell.
    I could spend all of my time on a smart phone(don't have one) join a fantasy football league, go to the bar all the time, but I don't, I am a student of fire.
    You could spend your time doing a lot less worthwhile stuff than working toward a career in the fire service. Good luck and give 'er hell!
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    @conrad427 - Thank you! A little off topic, but...You can be busy as hell and still be in a fantasy football league!! I am I just set my lineup at the beginning of the week and only check it on Sunday when my team (49er's) are playing.

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    No problem. Yeah CALFIRE doesnt get paid alot, matter of fact we get paid less than majority of the paid departments in California. You have to work more than 5 seasons before you can start making goooooood money. But we are an all risk department so we go on medical aids, vehicle accidents, public assists, structure fires, etc. So you gain alot of experience and you work 72 hours on and then 96 hours off ( 3 on 4 off). If you can take the academy, it will be very beneficial for your future in the fire service.

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    You could go to NCTI in Livermore. They have an EMT course starting Jan 6, ending March 22nd. 2 nights a week and all day Saturday. Whats the company your thinking about offering the 15 day course? Also, guessing your applying to SJFD? I am too.
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    @tattedfire86 - Thanks for the info. I'll look into it(just need to get my driver's license by then).
    The company I found was Silicon Valley Ambulance company. Yes, I did apply with SJFD, but it looks like if I can't get my EMT done by April, I won't get hired this time around. Most likely, I will be put on the list for the next academy the department will have (maybe in 2015). Do you live around SJ and do you have your EMT?

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    @ FF14

    make sure to at least get enrolled in an EMT class by April or you wont be put on a list. The list is good for two years from April ( so expires April 2016) and depending where you rank on the list you can qualify to get hired. But like I said, without EMT they may not even accept your application.

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