1. #1
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    Default I need help with deciding on what job I should take

    I am in a pickle about what job I should take. I am 18 and I am in a community college for my fire science degree. I have been offered in a volunteer bunk in program with a local fire department where I wil spend my time like a normal paid fire fighter. My other option is to take a job with rural metro as a emt basic and stay with my current volunteer departent which in turn means more ems experience and less fire time. I need help on deciding what I should do. Should I take the paid job or get more experience with the volunteer job. I love them both and I do not live on my own so money is not a priority. Any info you can give me will help a lot. Also I think that if I join rural metro then I will have a chance to transfer to a fire job in another city atleast I think this is possible. I have no clue. HELP.

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    Default Where?

    Which Rural Metro are you talking about?

    Captain Bob

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    Default

    Here's some perspective on some information to gather:[list=1][*]Talk to the folks at the FD offering the bunk-in program about call volume, types of calls, and what you will be able to do.[*]Talk to Rural Metro and ask them about call volume and types of calls. Also, ask them what EMT-Basic's get to do.[/list=1]
    In my area, private ambulance services do almost no scene response and are pretty much limited to transports between facilities. That can be interesting for a medic if you have a patient for an hour or more - you get exposure to more meds, IV infusions, etc. But, as a basic, you'll likely just be driving. You'll get very little emergency EMS experience. However, you'll get experience with whatever calls you run on your volunteer FD.

    If a FD provides EMS, it often is 60-80% of their call volume, so you'll likely get more emergency EMS experience that way. If the bunk-in FD has a pretty decent and varied call volume, you'll probably learn the most that way. Also, FD experience looks better on a resume for full & part-time FD employment than does private ambulance experience. Also, the college degree can be helpful.

    Good luck - let folks know what you find out as you investigate.
    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

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    The rural matro I am talking about is based in Syracuse NY and they runn all the calls for the city of syracuse and a few other towns surrounding the large city. The FD does about 1400 calls a year but it is mainly fire calls. Rural metro does everything but the fire department part of it.

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    Default

    If money is not a concern...bunk in.

    I did it for a year when i was in college, the experience is invaluable. I would think you could still do "meat" part time somewhere also...there were never any requirements against us working...therefore it would be the best of both worlds.

    Dave

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    Default

    Thanks for the help. You guys and giels are great.

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    bunk in-- it will be a better experience
    FIREFIGHTING IS ALL ABOUT ***, BUSTING OURS TO SAVE YOURS!!

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    Default

    Bunk in- good fire experience is usually a lot harder to find than ems experience

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    Default RE :help

    If you are looking to gain experience in all fields of the trade then you should do the bunk in program. You will be exposed to all aspect of the fire service and with enough experience you can always apply to a full time department later.

    God luck with whatever you decide.

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    Default

    I can do the bunk in for a year and I can always get a paid job as a emt or a medic. I am young and might as well as have fun untill I have to face all of the facts. I will always love a structure fire.

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    Will you still be able to continue on with your education with either job?
    If you can still go to the college for your degree, take the Live-in spot. It will do a couple things for you that the ambulance jockey job won't.
    1- You still live at home. Have you lived outside your parents house? Living with others will let you decide if you want to spend 1/3 of your life with a bunch of other guys and girls. Living in a firehouse is much more different then growing up with brothers.
    2- FIRE! If your riding an ambulance, you can't do fire. If you want to be a firefighter, take the job which gets your more fire experiance. EMS experiance is fairly easy to come by, more so then fire.
    3- FD's look better on resume's then ambulances.

    Will R/M send you through Paramedic school?
    If so, then maybe being an ambulance jockey is better...
    Something you have to decide.
    Can you still work for the ambualnce while living in the firehouse?


    *Mark
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    I am thinking about going with the fire department because I like firefighting better and I am not sure which department will pay for my paramedic course. I love firefighting and think that there is nothing like real life calls.

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    Default What Department?

    Well, I see you mentioned Rural Metro Syracuse, so now you got me wondering, is the Vol. department your thinking about bunking-in at in Onondaga County? If it is, hopefully for you it's Moyers Corners. They have the best program in Central New York.

    Now let's talk about Rural Metro. I've worked there as an EMT, but I did it part time for the experience, not the money since I already had a full time job. It didn't last long because my full time job called for some overtime hours and working part time at the same time wasn't working well so I ended my part time fun with Rural Metro.

    Now, who say's you can't work part time with Rural Metro and be a bunk in at the same time? If you've been an EMT for a year, this can probably happen.

    Let me know what your story is, I would be happy to help. I'll try to stay positive and not question you why your not applying to go be a bunk in over at Kentland which is what I wish I did when I was younger.
    Last edited by SIGNAL99COM; 03-23-2003 at 10:55 PM.
    Chris Shields
    Lieutenant / EMT
    Haz-Mat Technician
    East Syracuse Fire Dept
    Onondaga County, NY

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    Default

    SIGNAL99COM

    I sent you an email

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    Default The bottom line...

    Take it from someone who had been on a hard road
    with his career...GET A DEGREE or PARAMEDIC cert.
    I briefly scanned the messages above and noted
    most people said "bunk in". Trust me, put goofing
    off, experience on the back burner.

    YES, experience is good, but there will always be
    9-1-1 and calls. Get one of those most important
    two pieces of paper...a degree or Paramedic cert.

    No one can take those away from you and those are
    the MAGIC KEYS to getting a career. Trust me, I love
    being a paid professional Firefighter and having
    a good life. Education got me here, NOT "bunking
    in". As far as I know, Rural Metro is pro-
    education and ALWAYS needs Paramedics. Maybe RM
    will send you to school. LOOK INTO IT!!!

    -Bou

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    Bou......

    He never said anything about goofing. He is talking about living in a fire station while going to school. And while I agree certs are required...life and experience are the best teacher many times.

    Dave

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    Default Bunking In

    Making judgements that bunking in is "goofing off" was a bad call on his part.
    Chris Shields
    Lieutenant / EMT
    Haz-Mat Technician
    East Syracuse Fire Dept
    Onondaga County, NY

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    Making judgements that bunking in is "goofing off" was a bad call on his part.
    I agree 100%. Th year I 'bunked in" taught me more about the Fire Service than any class I ever took. We were responsible for housework, training, and responding to calls...just as the career Firefighters in the station were. We went to all kinds of incidents, from the most basic Medical aid to structure fire to hazmats. The "real life" experience was awesome. Especially combined with the "book life" experience I was getting at college.

    Dave

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    Default Get your degree

    tshayes,
    While it may be tempting to get the EMT job and the money that goes along with it, it will mostly likely get you into a field with little room for advancement or transfer to the fire department that handles fires. You can certainly work for your degree while working for the Rural Metro, but that makes things difficult and time consuming, particularly if you work shifts.

    You can get fire experience as well as EMT experience while getting your degree, and more importantly your degree will open other doors that the paid job might not offer. It is much easier to get your education when you don't have to worry about kids, a house and other responsibilities, that surely will come if you take the EMT job. Don't put off the education until later.

    I got my undergrad degree while living in a fire station. It was the first time that I didn't live at home and I learned a lot about the job and myself. I also had the opportunity to get a part time job in the FD administration. It helped put gasoline in the junker.

    I also got my graduate degree a few years ago. With a wife, two kids, a full time and part time jobs, and a home, believe me that was a challenge. While my life experience helped me with my graduate degree I couldn't see doing my undergraduate degrees while also trying to juggle those other responsibilities.

    Just my two cents. In any case good luck.

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    Default

    Thank you all for the wondeful advice you have given me. I have decided to bunk in this summer and am just waiting for the department to accept me. It seems like everything is going to be great.

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    Default Re: Get your degree

    Originally posted by glowpop

    While it may be tempting to get the EMT job
    and the money that goes along with it, it
    will mostly likely get you into a field with
    little room for advancement or transfer to
    the fire department that handles fires. You
    can certainly work for your degree while
    working for the Rural Metro, but that makes
    things difficult and time consuming,
    particularly if you work shifts.
    I sure hope you were reading those lines
    pretty closely. Some of the best advice to
    date. TRUST ME, dont fluff off your
    education. Bunking in might sounds fun and I
    UNDERSTAND it will give you life experiences, but
    I just wanted to stress that a degree and medic
    cert are going to get you that job over "bunking in."
    Anyone can bunk, but most of the Firefighters in the
    California Bay area are making over 100k a year.
    Even in this economy! They are doing it because of
    education and training. Have fun doing it, I just wanted
    to stress the real things you need...Bou
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 03-25-2003 at 01:03 AM.

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    Speaking from experience, yes a Fire Science degree or your EMT-P cert will take you a long way towards a paid FF career. However if you can bunk in while you are in school then your education will be rounded out by real experience and you'll learn so much more! I only wish I was able to bunk in while I got my degree, I would have gotten so much more out of my schooling. Anyways, I think you are on the right track and I wish you the best of luck!!

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    Bou....."bunking in" and education are not mutually exclusive. They can be done in tandem, and as I said, and 46truck re-interated, they compliment each other nicely.

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    Thank you all for the help.

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    Default I don't think so

    I talked to an over age 30 candidate who is leaving his long term job as the bread winner of his family to be an EMT with an ambulance company (one medic one EMT) that is being merged to provide response and transport with a large city fire department. The hope is he will be considered for hiring on the next test. This from a guy who has been having problems just passing the written.

    I asked him how this was going to get him a fire job? He said the fire department EMS co-coordinator told him his chances would improve. That they want candidates who’s first love was fire. Really? I asked him if he was aware that this department had only hired medics the last few times around. He said well I went on line and their application states EMT or medic. Yes, I know, but they are only hiring medics.

    There is an army out there with EMT’s, education, experience and medic certs. What makes you think giving up a solid job to jokie an ambulance is going to put you over the top? The response was maybe I should look at this a little closer.

    “Nothing counts til you have the badge . . . Nothing!”

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