1. #1
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Northern IL
    Posts
    189

    Default Hello from a future firefighter

    First off... I'd like to say this is a wonderful site. I've been doing a lot of research on becoming a firefighter, and this site has been the foundation for most of it. I've sorted through so much information already, and I've barely scratched the surface.

    My situation: I'm 25, currently working as an auto mechanic. I have a wife and two beautiful daughters. I've come to the conclusion that turning wrench's is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I've tossed around the idea of being a firefighter for probably the last 7-years or so, but never got serious about it till now. I'm looking for an online school to get my Firefighter 1 cert., but have not gotten very far as of yet. I came across John Jay College , but they have not returned any of my e-mails yet. If anyone has any other schools that they wouldn't mind sharing with me, I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Otherwise, I'm going to start looking at applying at a volunteer FD in the next town over, and probably stop by the station in my town as well. If anyone has any advice, or can give me any direction, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance!

    -Tim

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    lilred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Illinois
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    4

    Thumbs up

    Hey Tim

    My suggestion about classes is that you check into the Fire Science program at your local community college. (If you're in Crystal Lake I think that would be McHenry County College, right?) A lot of times they offer classes to certify you as a FFII. If not then at least perhaps you can take a class to get a bit of the flavor of what the job entails.

    Of course nothing beats hands-on experience, but a class -- especially one with practical drills -- is a good place to start to get your hands a bit dirty and see if the fire service is for you.

    Best of luck to you!
    ~*~You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.~*~
    ~~Eleanor Roosevelt~~

  3. #3
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    5

    Default Try It Out

    Hey
    Nothing to lose to try it out. Turning wrenchs is the same thing day
    in and day out. In the Fire Service there is always something that is a little bit different each day and you are always learning.
    Hopefully everything goes well in finding what you really want to do.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    dfdNo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    504

    Lightbulb Hello

    Hi Ratchet,

    Joining a vol fire company may not be a bad idea.

    It will give you a feel for the job and you can
    gain some experiance while eaither going back to
    school or look for a firefighting job. Keep in the
    back of you mind that these jobs are few and far
    between and it may take a little longer to find
    a paid firefighting job than you may think.
    The last job posted in my area was for 2 jobs
    and over 1500 people applied.

    Depending on what type of automotive training you
    have you may want to concider a job as a fire dept
    mechanic.

    Best of luck in your endevors

    Gods Speed to our Troops!

    If you can't stand the heat, Get out of my way !!!
    MEMBER OF I.A.C.O.J.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Kingston Mines, IL, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Joining a volunteer company is a good start. It will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the job and help you make a more informed decision about your career change. I too am a mechanic. I am 27 and have been working on forklifts and other heavy equipment since I was 18. I have also been on my local FD since then. I serve as a captain at my station and I am the departments EMS coordinator/EMS lead instructor. It will probably be a challenge to find a full time job in the fire service, so I wish you luck. I also offer you some advice: don't limit yourself to municipal FD jobs. There are jobs in the private sector that overlap into the fire service. Some security companies also offer fire protection to their customers. You may also find that you want to pursue a career in EMS. This opens up many other opportunities. As for the online training that you asked about, check out the University of Illinois web site. They sometimes offer courses online. I wish you luck in your quest and many years of service.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    15

    Smile joining FD

    hi tim
    my name is steve i have been a volunteer fire fighter for about 30 years and i will do it until i cant no more.when i was younger i had the chance to be on FDNY and i said no because i was getting payed more where i was working. And ever since than i have been kicking myself in the A__ so what i would tell you if its your dream to join the FDNY or any other payed force do it but its not easy,i wish they would let me join now but i am a little to old now.Also think of volunteering its great and you will learn so if you want to go payed you would not be cherry
    GOOD LUCK what ever you do in your life
    STEVE

  7. #7
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Posts
    7

    Default

    It would be best if you joined a volunteer company like others have said to get a feel for the job and also to get certified. I have been on a volunteer fd for 18 years and am still looking for a career department job it can be hard. good luck just remember volunteering will take a lot of time so be prepared.

    Firebug
    South Hopkins Fire Department
    Mortons Gap, Kentucky
    firebug75@mchsi.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Northern IL
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Thanks for the replys! Well, I applied at one Paid-on-call station on the outskirts of the town I live in. I haven't heard anything yet, but I was told that they're in the process of promoting a new cheif, so it may be another month or so. I'm going to try to sign up for a First Responder course at my local college as well, so hopefully that will give me a little edge as well. Guess all I can do now is wait...

    Tim

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