Hello all. This is my first time posting here so bear with me. I am a volunteer emt at two different locations. One at Virginia Tech where I am going to school, and also one back home in NH. In NH, I am also a volunteer FF. I joined the FD and amb in june of this year. I have been on the rescue squad at tech for a little more than a year now. I was just wondering from all the paid guys if they went to school for a degree of any type. I am currently in my second year here at tech and going through some down times. I was majoring in engineering but am struggling to keep my head above water. I know that I want to be a career ff/emt, hopefully a medic at that. I was just wondering if there is a really good major that I could get into cause there is no way that I can stay in engineering anymore. I just do not enjoy it half as much as I do running fire calls and responding to ems calls. I was looking at a few schools at there fire science programs, but most of those were just aa degrees and I was kinda looking for a bs degree. My new option that I am looking at is pursuing a managment degree here at Virginia Tech. Anyway, any responses and advice would really be appreciated. Thanks alot
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11-29-1999, 11:15 PM #1ProulxFirehouse.com Guest
11-29-1999, 11:44 PM #2benson911Firehouse.com Guest
This post is coming from a proud recipient of an Associates Degree in Fire Science from the University of Cincinnati and I'm still going to finish my Bachelors. I obtained the degree after my hire and the city paid for my tuition and books after I showed proof of a "C" or better in each class. The college class reimbursement is part of our contract and the "Distance Learning" program, allowing working FF to get their degrees without having to attend the University directly, was provided by the National Fire Academy through UC. The IAFF, among others fought for this program because attending classes every day of the week at the same time is nearly impossible for firefighters working 24 hour shifts.
I, too was an Engineering major, but I found out after working in a cubicle in front of a computer all day, every day that firefighting is MUCH better! I would look for a school that has a Fire Science program. You don't have to find a school offering the distance learning program, but if there are no schools near you, that may be an option.
Another option is to get a degree in EMS, yes they have them. I know of only one school that offers one, Hocking Technical College, others posting here may know more.
Finally, you could go to Paramedic school, get your card and then start taking exams for a full-time FF job. At least in my area of the country, a Paramedic card gets you some hefty credit on your written exam and is a prerequisite just to take some tests.
Whatever you do, don't keep going to classes aimed toward a degree you don't want. Find a school with a major you can use. If you want to be a FF, get a fire science or fire management degree. Check out the National Fire Academy web site to see what colleges offer their Fire Science degree either on-campus or distance learning.
Good Luck in whatever you choose.
[This message has been edited by benson911 (edited November 29, 1999).]
11-30-1999, 08:33 PM #3BoothbyFirehouse.com Guest
George Washington University, in DC, offers a BS degree as part of their paramedic program. Fire Science is a good AS to have, then a management or Public Administration as either a BA or better yet a MA. If I was to do it over again I would get my BS with the medic program then get on with a city and get my MA in public administration. Whatever you do DON'T QUIT SCHOOL just to ride around on the big red truck. You will live to regret it. Good luck!
Truck 3 A-shift
12-01-1999, 01:13 AM #4Hammerhead338Firehouse.com Guest
Hi Proulx, I am curently looking into taking a course in fire science. The class is run through the local vocational school, I talked to the people at the school and they told me what class that were teaching, and said I should bring all my ff certs. If I had the right certs, then all I would have to take is the required classes, like math, history and so on. Talk to schools around you and see what they have to offer, I just happened to talk to a lady from the vocational school and she told me to check out the class and see if it could help me in my job.
Have a good day and be safe.
12-02-1999, 06:39 PM #5CaptEdFirehouse.com Guest
Speaking from an Assoc. degree in Fire Service Admin. I was able to tailor the degree to my current vocation firefighting and EMS and soon to embark on a BS in Poli Sci. I'm just begining to explore the areas of how the "political system" works after 19 years in the field and through working up through the ranks. One thought would be to check into the many community colleges that offer Fire Service degrees with articulated credits for EMS certifications (this is what I did for my paramedic certification through my local community college). Remember too that many schools will recognise the efforts and life experiences you bring from working the streets. I've seen Hocking Tech's program and have several friends who are Hocking Tech Alumni* Not a bad little program for an EMS degree.
I do wish you well on your journey to da streets and a decent house assignment!
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