1. #1
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    Default Previous Career Paths…

    Ok I am sure that this has been discussed before on here, but I am new(ish) and since I am just getting my start in fire and EMS services (after many other career thoughts and paths), I want to know what types of jobs / careers did you all have before you got into this?

    I’ll start with myself…

    I am 27 and just starting. I have been in college off and on for 9 years. I have had majors from Native American studies to Computer Aided drafting… Ah yes there was History and Political Science / Public Administration thrown in there too. I got tired of college and quit. Worked for my Dad at a construction supply store. Then decided I wanted to move and became a Nanny. After that I went to a business school and got a degree in the travel related fields. So I worked for United Airlines for a summer and then on to work for a very large Travel Agency firm in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area. After 4 years and being downsized a few time and fighting with the internet travel sites to keep my job I decided it was time to move on. I went back to working for my Dad at a construction supply / rental store. I then went back to college yet again (Poly Sci/ Public Admin) and it was there that I realized what I had always wanted to do and just never really gave a though about. So in 3 weeks I start EMT / Paramedic classes and Fire Science classes.
    IT has been a long and winding road to get here but I am finally happy. Yes I will be a nanny, travel agent, firefighter / Paramedic…
    On the up side I know lots about construction supplies, tools and heavy equipment!

    Stay Safe,
    Janelle
    The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn...

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    I started out as an engineer (as in mechanical) but wound up doing mostly civil engineering work at my first job. I was Assistant Director of Public Works for several years. Did all kinds of cool stuff - traffic signals, sewer lines, water and gas, street paving, sanitation and landfill. Mostly I did design stuff. I wrote lots of contracts and bid specs (very very boring). I wound up being an interim building inspector for a while because the town I was working for couldn't attract anyone else (beware the "other duties as assigned" clause in your job description!!!)

    I got hooked up with the local FD as a volunteer and decided after a few years that I liked it more than what I was doing for a living.
    I went full time and have never looked back. I "upgraded" to a bigger department in 99.

    I've done the college thing pretty extensively, too. Mechanical Engineering for starters. Went back to get a B.S. in Fire Administration through the USFA Degrees at a Distance Program, and got an M.B.A.in 2000.

    I did the Army thing to pay for college, but I don't count that as a career choice. Other side jobs in my "past life" include commercial construction work and rod man (and later crew chief) of a land survey party.

    I'll bet there are some other winding career paths out there, so let's hear about 'em!
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

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    I was a Registered Medical Laboratory Technologist. Worked in a research laboratory for my first job, studying Hepatitis B and working on laboratory detection tests for Hep B. Left there, backpacked around Europe then started working in an Immunopathology lab in a local hospital (also worked part time in Haematology in another hospital). Earned my specialist certificate in Immunology, then chucked it all in to go to college for my diploma in Ambulance and Emergency Care. Worked for a little bit on a land ambulance, certified in Aeromedical Emergency care and worked on a fixed wing air ambulance for a few years, and worked for many years part time as an Ambulance dispatcher (all at the same time--I had no life).
    Dispatching turned out to be my niche. I found I am pretty good as a dispatcher, multi-tasking and all (sorry for the much abused terminology!!), and ended up with fire as a full time Comm Operator. Still miss the road, still wish sometimes I was back on the ambulance, but on those cold winter nights, when the wind is whistling around 50 kph, and the wind chill is down to -40 deg C, I'm glad I'm inside, fielding multiple calls, working 5+ radio channels, stuffing my face with doughnuts at 0300 hrs, and wrecking my back cuz I've been sitting for 14 hours straight!!

    GOD, I love my job!!
    Last edited by CommDiva; 08-15-2003 at 07:43 PM.
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    Default Interesting

    Hi,

    I'm a teacher(and huge fire buff), and I asked the same question about prior careers of firefighters on another board. I am really surprised that more of you are not former educators. I have had firefighters come into my classroom on several occasions, and they are absolutely wonderful with the kids and really know how to hold a young audience. When you guys retire, more of you should think about going into education. You're naturals!

    Brenda

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    Default WOW ! a life story thread .............

    I wont go into such detail but will say that I have not had a whole bunch of jobs
    1)Grocery store- bag boy, dairy mgr, grocery dept mgr.
    1a)On the local FD
    2) Nabisco - head merchandiser, this was my first job with a big company ........and it SUCKED !
    3) back to the grocery store..........
    4) laid off from store .............went to work in a private ambualnce service FT ........married......... kids
    4a) Assistant Fire Instructor........doin some teachin
    5) EMS dispatcher...........and now you almost know the rest of the story
    Last edited by Weruj1; 08-21-2003 at 08:12 PM.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Josh, you left out the fun one! Where in that list did the BIG job fit? You know the one: the nude male dancer at the Gay Strip Club?

    I'm kidding, of course! It wasn't a gay strip club.....


    1. Grocery store (sounds familiar, yes? No wonder we get along!)
    2. Bank:
    2a. Mailroom clerk (!)
    2b. Proof operator (local VFD starts)
    2c. Computer operator
    3. Cable guy
    4. Back to the bank
    4a. Computer operator
    4b. Computer Ops Supervisor
    5. Public works beeyotch
    6. Contract medic
    7. Full time FF/PM
    Omnis Cedo Domus

    www.hinckleyfd.org

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    Exclamation

    I am so glad that occurred before the internet ! man those pics would be hard to stop in this modern day and age ...........and of course it wasnt in a GAY strip club !!ROFLMAO !!!!! you silly man !
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Oh but you forget Josh, that I have connections in very very close places I know if anyone can get ahold of those pics, slick Willy can........Hmmmmmm, I do believe I'll take orders now......

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    Talking Send your donations in NOW!

    LadyCapn, I do believe we could raise a TON of money if we asked the users here to contribute!!

    Hell, I'd pay..... well, maybe no more than $3 to see those pictures!!

    On second thought, maybe we wouldn't make that much money after all....
    Omnis Cedo Domus

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  10. #10
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    Your heading in the right direction. Did you finish your P.A. degree, if not when you finish your A.S. in Fire Science, go back and get that B.A. in Public Administration. Some colleges and universities will allow you to specialize in Fire Departments, my university allowed it. I did both of my internships with a Fire Department and my B.A. thesis was fire department related. I also have an A.S. in Fire Science. All this took me until age 34 before I finished it all. 16 credits away from a masters but don't really want to finish it now. Outside of the military and leave day jobs, this all I've ever done as a job/career. Good luck.
    Last edited by FireLt1951; 08-22-2003 at 02:06 PM.

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    Went to college planning to major in economics and go to law school. Had taken a computer class in high school (yes, they did have computers back then - barely). Decided I liked computers & made it a career. I've spent 25 years in corporate America.

    Along the way I decided I wanted to try this volunteer firefighter thing I'd been interested in since childhood. My 1st FD required all folks to run EMS, so I got my EMT, though I really wasn't interested in it. Over the years, got many more certifications, including FF-II, inspector, medic, and fire & EMS instructor. I found I really liked teaching.

    Along the bumpy path of life, I got divorced & later remarried. My wife had a life long desire to go to nursing school, and couldn't work and got to school at the same time (her school is very hard work - I really respect anyone who survives). So, I turned my vollie love into a "part-time" job. So, besides working full-time in data processing, I work about 60-72 hours/week as a part-time medic and teach EMT-Basics & Intermediates for the local community college.

    Now, once she graduates & gets a job, I'm going to slow down & we'll get re-acquainted.
    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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    Sounds like you're heading in the right direction, though I'm not sure if I'd know too much about it. I started out working at McDonalds, then I worked for Best Buy as a video salesman (tv's, camcorders, dvd players) then I worked as a mechanic for a few different shops. I decided that I didn't really like being a mechanic, so I joined the Army as a firefighter. After I got back from training, I was hired with a private ambulance company, then I got mobilized to come to Iraq with my reserve unit. I had joined the volunteer department when I was working for Best Buy. I am thinking about going to a community college when I get home to get an associates degree in fire science. Well, that's it, hope you enjoyed the story of my life!

    Stay safe,

    Matt

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    First job on leaving school was a lifeguard at the local swimming pool. Did that for about 3 months, Baywatch it IS'NT!. Especially when you have to swab the changing rooms out. Moved onto a job with the Police near my home, worked in the station for 5 years before transferring to Communications, where I am until this day. Spent 10 years on a volunteer search & rescue team, before getting the chance about 8 years ago to become a part-time firefighter. Promoted to crew commander 2 years ago and waiting for an interview for promotion to supervisor at work.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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    I worked on a large dairy farm for four years and a beef farm for one then I worked for an automotive manufacturer for two. I couldn't handle being inside or the repetition so I took a pay cut and became a fireman. When I was on the dairy farm I worked 72 hours a week now I work 42 and I will never forget how good I have it now.

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