Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience

View Poll Results: Should an Associates, or a Bachelors degree be necessary for a career in the FD?

Voters
40. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    14 35.00%
  • No

    22 55.00%
  • Undecided

    4 10.00%
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30
  1. #1
    Senior Member FFMcDonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    N 41* 2.770' W 74* 7.338'
    Posts
    272

    Question How Important is education?

    As I write this, I am smack dab in the middle of my pursuit of a Bachelors Degree in Fire Protection and Safety Technology.

    I am right in the middle, and at this point I am in the 'middle of the tunnel' so to speak.... the only problem that I have is I can't tell if there is a light at the end of the tunnel - or if it's an oncoming train

    My question for you out there in Forum land is:
    How important is getting my Bachelors degree - when all I want to be is a firefighter?

    I can see the value in having my degree, I think it will help me once I leave any departments 'probationary' period...

    What do you think?


    And no - I don't think you can put out fire with a book. But a think that one of the most important tools a firefighter has is the grey, spongy mass between his/her ears.
    Marc

    "In Omnia Paratus"

    Member - IACOJ
    "Got Crust?"

    -- The opinions presented here are my own; and are not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    482

    Default Hmmm

    The answer to the question lies in you. I think that those who "honestly" go about getting degree's are to be congratulated. Keep this in mind. Right now all you want to do is be a firefighter. That can change due to unforseen events. It is good to have that degree in the event you need it.

  3. #3
    Temporarily/No Longer Active Station7Cadet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Pittsville Volunteer Fire EMS Rescue Department, Inc. Pittsville MD "Pittsville Pride"
    Posts
    280

    Default

    I saied to yes to your question, but for the volunteer service I say no becasue myself being volunteer we don't have the time. I know some people that are paid didn't have the time before the professional but I think that should common practice. The education is the main part of the service, without education in anything there would be nothing.

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,578

    Default

    An educated firefighter is a better, safer firefighter...

    Not to long ago, the public's perception of what was needed to be a firefighter was brawn, not brains. This might have worked in the days of the hand tubs, but with the issues that we deal with today, such as EMS, hazmat, terrorism, as well as firefighting, building construction, confined space and trench rescue requires knowledge and training.

    Remember, Those who know the least, know it the loudest...including some of those who post on the forums!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 03-28-2002 at 08:22 AM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    482

    Default

    Remember, Those who know the least, know it the loudest...including some of those who post on the forums!
    Isn't that the truth Gonzo

  6. #6
    Member fergus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    90

    Default

    I would say that degrees are important. Some in the public still think of firefighters as being of "strong backs and weak minds". Every time a firefighter gets a degree, the fire service becomes more professional to the average citizen.

    In the area I live in, many police departments require 4 year degrees. While I don't think we should start requiring bachelors degrees, it should be noted that the public sees these police officers as being well educated professionals, and treat them better than they would otherwise (how much respect did sheriff roscoe get?).

    Simply because an applicant has a degree does not mean the s/he will be a better firefighter- we all know people who are "book smart/street dumb". We've seen the top student in the paramedic class who can't start an IV, or the cadet with the top test scores in the fire academy who can't tie a bowline. I do think that the average firefighter will benefit from a degree. College courses increase communication skills (better communication with the public), build creative problem solving skills (which could help during unusual rescue or fire situations), and can improve chances for promotion. You also get to meet all sorts of babes in college classes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    482

    Default

    Ferq

    Well put. it is not just a degree with respect to the fire service it is also somethign to use throughout life outside of the fire service.

    Try to avoid this though:

    BS In Something

  8. #8
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    25 NW of the GW
    Posts
    8,434

    Default

    Get the education! Knowledge is a treasure that should be pursued by any means possible. Go for it! You never know what the future holds in store for you...and you just might need to fall back on some of the things you've learned along the way. Besides, firefighting is a physically demanding occupation....and an injury, however small, might send you looking for an alternate career.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Forum Member FireCapt1951retired's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Between here and there
    Posts
    790

    Default

    Get the degree, knowledge is power. The higher your education level the better prepared you are for life and its changes, period.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Cape St. Claire (Annapolis), MD
    Posts
    50

    Default Helps out in the Long run

    I don't necessarily think that a degree should be required. There are some people who just don't want to go, but it doesn't mean that they won't make good firefighters. A degree can help in the long run though. If they ever wanted to retire and move on, a degree will get you a good paying job.

    Megan

  11. #11
    Forum Member dfd3dfd3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    229

    Default

    Should a degree be required, no. Is a degree helpful, I think it is. For getting on a dept Id encourage you to finish your degree. ITs alot better to be able to say you stuck with it and finished the job then not completing what you started. Id also, during winter break and summer get a good grunt job in a factory or construction that way you can show you also know what it is to work hard. Then going into the interview youll have the degree and experience as a grunt.

  12. #12
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default

    knowledge is power...yes...but is it necessary to be a good fire chief, effective leader, battalion chief etc...NO it is not.

    Should it count..yes...but experience should also count for a lot also.

    I have worked with folks that have a degree in fire science and they leave a lot to be desired.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    482

    Default

    knowledge is power...yes...but is it necessary to be a good fire chief, effective leader, battalion chief etc...NO it is not.
    Who Cap!


    I have to take exception to the inference that knowledge is not needed to be good at anything. Knowledge can consist of knowing when to follow orders. I am assuming you mean college degree's, not knowledge in general. Without knowledge of traffic safety, I might have been run over this morning.

  14. #14
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Niagara Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,924

    Default

    quote FF McDonald:
    My question for you out there in Forum land is: How important is getting my Bachelors degree - when all I want to be is a firefighter?
    Is it essential? Like most of the other people here I say no. But your education is yours, no one can take it away from you once you have it. DFD3 made a good point stick it out, and work grunt jobs during the summer. You are at the difficult point where it seems you have been doing this forever, and you feel like you have forever until you are done. (I have been there, BA in Chemistry) Stick with it. You can apply what you learned in obtaining your degree to other fields if the firefighting thing doesnt pan out.
    Good luck in your pursuit of knowledge!
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Greensburg
    Posts
    78

    Default

    I'm a little late on this, but I definitely agree with Gonzo's words of wisdom

    Anywho, a degree should not be required for a career in the fire service, but it should be encouraged. A post high school degree can only help an individual especially in the field of firefighting. Possibly requiring a degree for an officer position higher than the company level would be a good idea though. Nothing beats experience except the experience plus education.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    My house
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Should a degree be necessary? Absolutely not!

    In my 21 years in the fire service, I have seen no evidence that a degree makes a better firefighter. In fact the opposite is true, I have found firefighters coming on the job with degrees generally have bad additudes. You know the type, know it all, superiority complexes.

    I would much rather have people with a work history behind them. Someone with a trade etc. Many of the "new breed" are critical of the fact that in my time we hired a lot of 'jocks'. Well I'll take a jock anytime over a prussy-prima donna college boy. At least the jocks knew what team work meant and weren't always looking for ways to climb up the ladder by stepping on someone else. A Bachelor of Basketweaving degree is of no use on the fireground and a BS is exactly what the initials imply. At least when it comes to fighting fires and saving lives.

  17. #17
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default clarification

    theboxalarm

    Ok..clarification... I meant Knowledge in the form of a piece of paper saying "degree." Knowledge as far as OJT, Experience, Training Sessions and Seminars etc is what makes a firefighter and an officer...NOT a Degree.


    (PS>>>Who are you? You seem to know a great deal about a lot of stuff...and I mean that in a respectful way...no sarcasm)
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    482

    Default

    (PS>>>Who are you? You seem to know a great deal about a lot of stuff...and I mean that in a respectful way...no sarcasm)
    I am a nobody which I like just fine. I am no expert in anything and the only thing I have to offer are my opinions. I don't ask that anyone follow anything I say. I just like to be able to discuss and debate. I enjoyed firefighting more than anything else in my life. Now I write about it, sometimes poorly. In short I am just an average guy. I tried to be an expert once but I wasn't qualified. So there you have it Brother

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Maryland (but always a Long Islander first)
    Posts
    1,103

    Default

    I think it's always good to have something to fall back on. And if you need an education to further your firefighting career, get it now while you're still young. It's harder to go back to school if you've been out a while or if you're working whacky shifts.... We really can't predict the future of the fire service.
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Greensboro,NC
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I'm probably slightly biased in my opinion since I have a college degree but here it is anyway. I feel that degrees are very helpful because the process of earning one teaches you to think outside the envelope. However,I have known people with higher educations that have absolutely no common sense and therefore make poor decisions. On the other hand I know people with just a high school degree who have much to offer and make good, sound fire ground decisions. Does it really matter, I don't know. It seems in todays professional settings that degrees are being stressed as a means of advancing your career.

    To touch on the statement that volunteers lack the necessary time to get a degree is ludicrous to me. The key word is volunteer, you don't have to be at every call and meeting, you volunteer. Take the time to further your education because it certainly can't hurt you or your future.

    Be safe out there!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts