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Thread: NFA question...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Default NFA question...

    i am a junior in high school but i plan to attend either UMUC and get a master's in fire science or go to the national fire acedemy and take courses there...
    i was wondering if anyone had any advise on either choices i have narrowed down to...
    i obviously want to be a career fire fighter...
    or a career fire fighter/EMT
    what states have those jobs...
    in DE,and a lot of other states, almost everything in atleast fire fighting is volunteer...
    anything anywhere?
    i mean if i am forced to move to a big city i will but i want ot try to keep it in MD/PA/VA...
    so if you have any advise or thoughts please post them
    **remember FDNY 101**

  2. #2
    Forum Member MEck51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    South Jersey


    I think you will find that most dept.s do not require you to attend either prior to hire for an entry level psotion. However if I had to take a choice of the 2 I would lean towards taking college courses in fire science first while doing the testing process for a dept. of choice. It is a lot easier to attend college while not working in a full time career and given the chance to do over again I would have probably went that route, not to say things haven't worked out pretty good for me so far.
    As far as career dept.s in the area I can only speak of reliably on S. Jersey. We have few career dept.s in the extreme southern end. We have maybe 4 full time career dept.s and possibly 8 combination. You will start to see more as you head furhter north. Up towards Camden, Trenton, Phil. or even further away such as Kearney, Jesey City , North Hudson Regional. You will find in jersey that it pays big to be a resident (most anywhere realy). I think we have 2.5 years left on the state list, so if you were to come up this way find where you want to work and live there prior to application to take the test, you must be a resident at time of application to get credit. Down towards Del. I think all they have is chickens, I realy don't know. Beings you have plenty of time I would research what area you want to be in. Busy-slow, upperclass-slums (I know alot of people that want to work in the ghetto, let me tell you the country club is just fine by me)find out cost of living verses pay scale, I couldn't afford a house in my city if I lived to be 100. There are plenty of people on these forums to get info from, so you found a good place to start looking. Let me know if you have any questions about my area, I'd be glad to help.

  3. #3
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....

    Smile Well........................

    If you live in Delaware, outside the Wilmington City Limits, you live in an area that is protected by Volunteers. If you are not a Volunteer, join up. This is the best way to find out if you really want to be a Firefighter or not. I learned a lot as a Volunteer that helped me after I was hired as a full time Firefighter. Attending UM and/or the National Fire Academy prior to looking for a job sounds, well, a bit strange, I've been in this business for almost 50 years and I've never heard of it. In fact, you might want to check and see if you must first be a Firefighter, in order to attend NFA.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.


  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002


    I second everything hwoods said.

    The National Fire Academy is not a place you go to learn to be a firefighter. Most of the classes are geared towards senior fire managers. Attending the NFA is a great goal, but you must have a connection with the fire service or other emergency services before you may enroll.

    If you wish to make a career out of the fire service, check around and see where the jobs are. You also need to determine what the requirements are. In some locations, a degree may help. In others, a paramedic certification could be the key to being hired. My experience had been that a degree in fire science won't help you get hired, but it will help you advance within the department. I happen to live in the mid-west. Things may be very different in the east.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Default maybe i should clear somethings up...

    i am a volunteer firefighter already and also an emt...
    i want to be a career firefighter/EMT
    it is such an amazing experience and i love being a volunteer...
    but obviously...
    being a volunteer means i am not getting paid so i don't want to do it all my life...
    this has been my dream for a long time
    i just want to know if going to NFA or UMUC will help any or should i just go and take the test and when i pass go to a station...and get a job?
    cause i mean college is a lot of money!
    although NFA has no tuition...it still costs...
    i have to go
    but thanks for the advise!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    metro Washingon DC


    Unlike other professions, career firefighting does not require a college degree. Some departments may require a certain number of credit hours, and some are preferentially hiring candidates with paramedic certifications, so what should you do?

    Most middle Atlantic cities and urban counties have career fire departments. Some are all-career and others are combination career-volunteer.

    I think you should first think about where you want to live. Big city, rural county, seaside resort. Once you narrow it down, then look to identify who provides the firefighting service. Start with the local government's website.

    Look at the fire department. Is it the type of place you want to spend 20-40 years with? Not all of them are friendly to female firefighters - you may want to check with the Women in the Fire Service and talk to women whom are already on the job http://www.wfsi.org/.

    Then go to the fire department website and look up the hiring announcement - that will describe what is needed to qualify to apply for a firefighter job. Firefighting jobs are very competitive. You will probably have to take some sort of physical agility/ability test, an entrance exam, a police background check, a pre-employment physical and - sometimes - an interview and/or psychological profile.

    Your goal is to completely understand the hiring process of the department you want to work for. By the way, some departments will not hire you until you are 21.

    It takes time to get hired - up to two years. While waiting, you should consider continuing your education by attending college. Most firefighters struggle with english, math and lab science - so knock them out while you have the time.

    By the way, most middle Atlantic fire departments are looking for firefighter candidates who are certified as National Registry paramedics. You may want to consider getting that certification while attending college - you can actually get a two or four year degree in paramedicine. New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties hire full-time paramedics. Check the Delaware Technical and Community College www.dtcc.edu or the Medical Center of Delaware www.mcdhealth.org for more information on paramedic training. Between 70 to 80 percent of urban fire department responses are for medical assists or crashes.

    The University of Maryland University College bachelor degree in Fire Science Management is valuable to folks looking to move from firefighter into supervisory jobs. In addition, the program requires that students have a two year fire science degree from a community or technical college. http://www.umuc.edu/prog/ugp/majors/fscn.shtml

    Those who obtain a master's degree are usually looking to be the fire chief, an educator or a researcher. This link will take you to the National Fire Academy higher education section http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fire-servic...er-ed/he.shtm.

    As others have pointed out, the classes at the National Fire Academy are designed for folks who are already on the job and are progressing through their career. For you, they will have little value at this time.

    You need a high school diploma or equivalent to start a firefighting career in many departments.

    Community college fire science programs generally provide task-level technical training (haz mat, hydraulics, building construction) and first-level supervisory (incident command, supervision, administration) training. It will not hurt to get that education before you start to work. More and more recruit firefighters have degrees before they start working. If money for school is an issue for you, then get the job first.

    Junior and senior level undergraduate classes are designed to prepare you to function as a senior or middle level manager (Captain or Battalion Chief.)

    Good luck!

    Last edited by MikeWard; 06-29-2004 at 05:03 AM.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    thank you all so much for your information
    it is very appriciated...
    i understand what it is like ebign a femail firefighter already...
    i have only been at the station for a couple monthes...
    but i was raised there which started my dream of being a fire fighter when i got older
    i planned on being certified as a paramedic
    just because my friend mario in my fire station was talking to me about the requirements to become a career fire fighter
    so thank you again
    and keep giving advise
    i can never get too much
    remember FDNY 101~

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