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Thread: Why is 21 years old a common requirement?

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    Default Why is 21 years old a common requirement?

    I'm looking for a full-time fire job and keep running into the requirement of being 21 or older. Just curious what the reason is for that? Some departments it is because insurance won't allow someone under 21 to drive emergency traffic, but on a large department, a new hire won't even be touching a steering wheel for years. Correct?

    I'm in Tennessee, 19 yrs old, with Firefighter 1, EMT-IV and several other fire certs.

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    I think it has to do with insurance most insurance companies will not insure a driver of a emergency vehicle under 21. Here in my locality you can be a volunteer at 16 but you can not drive until you are 21 because of the insurance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snarff View Post
    I think it has to do with insurance most insurance companies will not insure a driver of a emergency vehicle under 21. Here in my locality you can be a volunteer at 16 but you can not drive until you are 21 because of the insurance.

    That makes sense, but what about large departments where you have to have 3-5 years on the department before you can even test for engineer? Seems like whether you can drive or not would be a non-issue.

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    You might do drivers training

    You might drive other city vehicles

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    None of the career departments in my area require you to be 21. I don't think we've ever hired anyone under 20, however.

    Driving requirements change from department to department. Our personnel are required to be drivers within one year of completion of recruit school.

    Maturity is another factor that drives some departments to require 21 YOA, however.
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    In certain states you have to be 21 to enter into a bar even if you're not drinking. Departments want you to be able to respond to any call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spaceghost76 View Post
    In certain states you have to be 21 to enter into a bar even if you're not drinking. Departments want you to be able to respond to any call.
    ¿Que???????

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    Quote Originally Posted by spaceghost76 View Post
    In certain states you have to be 21 to enter into a bar even if you're not drinking. Departments want you to be able to respond to any call.
    In 22 years, I've never been asked to produce ID before entering a call at a bar. And I started this when I was 17...
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    In 22 years, I've never been asked to produce ID before entering a call at a bar. And I started this when I was 17...
    LOL you just look old enough.
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    We had a 21 minimum hiring age at one time but lower it to 18 back in around 1970. We had a few 18 year old's apply and a few got hired. In fact in one recruit class one member had to leave early one day so he could attend his high school graduation. He is still on the job and is doing well, with 30 years of service.
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    The drinking thing is most definitely not the reason. I believe it is a mix of insurance reasons, maturity, and life experience. You are a much different person at 25 than you were at 18. With a department having so many people applying, why would they take an 18 year old verses a 23 year old? You are on track for great things with all your certs at a young age. Get EMT experience, a degree, and maybe even a paramedic license. You have PLENTY of time.

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