Thread: Becoming Career

  1. #1
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    Question Becoming Career

    Hello all.

    My name is Bryan, I've been a volunteer for just over 2 years. I first volunteered to make sure that firefighting is what I realy want to do. I've seen too many folks jump into it and find out later that they arent up to the task. After my first call I was sure that I wanted this to be longterm.
    With in the 2 years that I've been a volunteer I have gone to Texas A&M Municipal Fire School both years and I'm about to go for my 3rd year in July. I have taken a basic and advanced extracation class, I've been HAZMAT certified, I took a Truck Company Operations class, and a Rapid Intervention Team class. I know that these certs wont do much for me when I become paid, but I wanted the experiance.
    Now that you have a little background......
    I'm ready to do this for real. The departments that I want to get onto dont have their own academy like the larger cities around here do. So to get hired I have to get the Texas Sate cert on my own. There are a couple of academys around that I can attend, problem is the money. Does anybody know of any grants or student loans that I can apply for? The major problem is when it comes to my monthly bills. The academy is full time, I'll have to quit work or take a leave of absence, either way I wont be making any money to pay my bills. Is there any grants or something that will include this?

    I sure appreciate any help that yall can fork over. I look forward to being able to stand up and call you my Brother. Stay safe.
    Talk low, talk slow, and dont say too much-----John Wayne

  2. #2
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    First of all, most departments hire you and put you through an "academy" or "fire school" after you are employed. Most fire departments do not require you to have certifications or degrees to be hired. Second, I'm sure a lot of people will agree, my experience tells me most of the "best" firefighters are not necessarily the college educated ones but the carpenters, auto mechanics so on and so on. These are the guys that know how to use tools and have a thing called "common sense" that to me is very important in the fire service. Nothing wrong with education or certification but, if you have all that in your head and can't apply it in real life, well... I think you should look to take the civil service test or whatever it is you take in Texas and try to get hired, after that you can go for your college education and certifications.

  3. #3
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    Bryan K
    Have you spoken to anyone from the departments you are looking at. I am unfamiliar with Texas but in most states, not all, you are put through the academy at Department expense. If that is not the case in Texas please advise. If you have to pay for it yourself then are you a veteran?

  4. #4
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    The larger cities around here (Austin, Houston, DFW, ect) do provide you with the training if you are hired. I've never been much for the big cities and would rather stick to a smaller town. None of the towns that I am interested in offer their own training academy. One of the requirements of employment is that you are certified with the state. There are some fire schools around that I can attend, but the money has to come out of my pocket. The local community college is in partnership with one of the academys. I'd be able to get a student loan for the course, but the problem now is that it is a full time semester long course, meaning that I will still have problems paying the bills during that time. I guess I'm just going to have to save up enough so I can not work and still make the bills. Thanks for yall's help.
    Talk low, talk slow, and dont say too much-----John Wayne

  5. #5
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    OK Bryan, looks like you have a lot of work ahead of you. You need to go to the college and fill out your FAFSA forms for financial aid from Uncle Sam, you need to ask the college about scholarships from there and then you need to get info about scholarships from the fire departments in the area. Your local library should have a huge book of scholarships you can apply for, you just need to find them. You also need to go to your local town, county and state governments and see what they have available for you as far as scholarships and grants. Like I said, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Maybe you can see if the fire academy or school has a monthly payment plan you can use. Check your local banks and see if they have student loans for such a career and ask about student loans from the college as well. Another option would be to go to the big city, get hired and trained and then transfer to the smaller town later. You might end up liking the big city if you give it a chance also. Good luck buddy, hope you're on the job soon.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for the help. That doesnt sound like too much work, considering how much I want this to happen. I'll get started this weekend.
    Talk low, talk slow, and dont say too much-----John Wayne

  7. #7
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    Hey Bryan I dont know what part of the state your in (Iam in the DFW area) but the local college I went to for fire school had a night class. Thats what I did because I had to work also. I didnt want to work for a big city either. Try to find a night school and good luck getting in to the best job in the world.

  8. #8
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    Hey that's a good idea. Thanks. I'm in central Texas, just north of Austin. I'd like to stay close by but I'm not much of a city boy, never have been. Due to the holliday weekend I havent been able to do much but soon as I get back next weekend I'll look into that. Thanks for the idea.
    Talk low, talk slow, and dont say too much-----John Wayne

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