I am currently a freshman in high school and I know I still have 3 years however if I want to get a job as a career firefighter when I am older. Currently I am a fire explorer which is a good start and I just wanted to know: A: Is there classes/courses (In summer) I can do in high school to boost my odds. B: what type of school/academy should I go to after high school. And C: Would it be helpful to be volunteer before going to a career department.
Any input would be appreciated!
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02-10-2014, 10:09 PM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2013
- Cedarburg, WI
02-10-2014, 10:56 PM #2
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
- Atlanta, GA
Hey Little Brother,
I started off my career as an explorer and then joined the volunteer fire department when I turned 18 (some states and dept are age dependent). Today I am proud to say that I am living my life long dream as a career firefighter a dream that had many questions when I was your age which was only 12 years ago.
I found myself looking at a lot of options on what I should do and how to achieve them to give me a better shot at getting the "Job". I searched high and low but could never find the right answers. What I will say next is my thoughts and knowledge on what help me get the "Job" (sorry might be kind of long):
A- Stay in school and work your butt off during high school. A lot of your entrance exams are basic to intermediate math, english, and reading. Also study the ASVAB book this will help you when it comes to taking some of these written entrance exams for FD's.
B- College or Military that is the question. If I could of done it all over again I would have gone the military route. I believe these brave men and women (I like to call them a firefighters HERO) when I test with them are always one step ahead of everyone else. The military teaches you respect, structure, and most important heart. Now what if military isn't for you well GO TO COLLEGE!!!! Not sure where you live at but some colleges along if your grades in high school are good enough will allow you to start taking classes around the age of 17. I recommend getting you EMT licenses as soon as possible. You won't be able to test for you EMT numbers till your 18 but this will put you ahead of a lot of people. After that don't stop with your medical training, get hired on at an ambulance service and go get that "Golden" patch we like to call Medic! This will open up soo many windows and give you a chance to test all over the country and not just in one or two areas where medic is not a requirement. After that don't stop and get a degree. I regret playing catch up now trying to get my medic licenses and then starting back to college once I finished up with medic school hopefully here in a couple of months.
C- This is my opinion stay away from any type of fire academy. They are a waste of time and money. Any (well most) career departments will put you through their academy regardless of where you went and what kind of certifications you have. Not saying don't take class about the fire service and the tools just don't jump from local academy to academy because it won't boost your chances.
Finally D- get involved when your of age with your local volunteer fire department. A lot of us started of with a pager on our hip and running out on family to handle calls. This will be some of the best hands on training and knowledge you will ever get to start you off.
Best of luck to you sir. It is a tough job to get but once you have the job it's the best ride of your life. Don't ever give up hope either. I know guys that were really lucky and tested and got hired first time and then there are a lot of guys (myself included) that tested all over the place and finally got hired. So don't get discouraged and keep at it.
02-10-2014, 11:27 PM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
Find out what the minimum school, fire cert, emt or whatever is required just to apply
Get them as soon as possible
Check various departments in your state a lot have the requirements online
Once you can apply and test test everywhere and anywhere
Go career if that is what your goal is
Stay out of any trouble including traffic ticket
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