Thread: Career Change

  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Default Career Change


    I live in Flagstaff, Arizona, I currently work in computer support and am also a skilled mechanical engineer, I have recently enrolled on an EMT course and am in my mid 30s.

    I would like to move to a more satisfying career as a firefighter/emt.

    What I would like to get from anyone who is willing to take the time is advice as to the best way to go about building up the required skills and experience, what options are available out there for training and gaining experience through volunteer work plus any other suggestions you may have for structuring the build up to my future career change.

    I apologise if this question has been asked previously on these boards, I have only just started reading them and am looking for answers tailored to my situation, let me know if you need further information in order to better answer my questions.

    Thank you for your time..

  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2001

    Default I will help!

    I have work Military, Federal and Civilian. I have had the chance to work on Aircraft, Boats and done my fair share of Industrial Firefighting. I have also worked in many states up and down the east coast. In addition I have taken allot of tests, physical agility tests and a few interviews. I have never been vol. however I have worked for a Vol. Dept "paid on call" I will try to help you with your? If possible.
    “Just when you think something is made to be Idiot Proof. They go a head and make a better Idiot”

  3. #3
    Permanently Removed
    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Default 2 cents...

    I will try to make this short sincer there is soooo
    much to pass along. First, visit a local fire station
    and talk to some of the full-time people there. They
    can give you some advice on where to start. I HIGHLY
    suggest getting some career experience as a paid-call
    Firefighter, reserve or volunteer. Second, look into
    enrolling into college and getting the fire sceince

    Now, my favorite- the internet. LOTS of information
    out there. Look at these sites to start-

    and imprtant one-

    Look at that one!!!


  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    I would echo CALFFBOU regarding visiting some fire stations and firefighters. I was in similar shoes a couple of years ago (early thirties, unsatisfied with pushing papers, always had an interest in fire/rescue/police careers). I would suggest looking to test in cities that will send you to get certified after you get hired. Granted, not all cities do this. One key to that would be locating cities that base the primary ranking of candidates by their written scores. Getting your EMT-B is a good first move, as you probably already know, almost any dept. will require at least EMT-B. If you get lucky, some depts. will even send you to get your medical cert. if your hired. All that said, I definately enjoy the change of pace and scenery. I find it much more rewarding than sitting at a cubicle all day. Something that was important to me was feeling proud of what I did, I lost that in my paper shuffling job. I feel good about what I do for living now. One thing to consider is the pay. Your own happiness in a career is worth a lot, but, pay is a consideration. Based on what you currently do for work, you're probably going to take a pay cut, as I did. Based on my experience, I say go for it. If you get on with a dept. and decide its not for you, you can always fall back on your previous experience.

    Good luck.

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