1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Downers Grove, IL

    Question Better late than never.

    Hello all.

    I have made the exciting and long overdue decision to become a Firefighter. Due to some unforseen circumstances, I have waited to make this move in my life even though it has been on my mind and in my heart forever. I have a wife, 3 kids and a new home, not to mention 10 years have passed, and I am ready to make the move I have wanted to make for years. I live in the western suburbs of Chicago (Downers Grove). I am in good shape physically, and mentally I have never been more ready, and now I just want to get started. If there is anyone who can help me get on the right track, or at least point me in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it. In addition, if I should be directed to another board within this site, please let me know that as well.

    Thanks in advance for your help, and I hope to learn a lot from all of you.
    Bill Ostrum
    Do The Thing You Fear The Most And The Death Of Fear Is Certain!

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    DuBois, IL - just south of I-64 in the middle of the state


    Greetings from down South. I can't help you much with the north end of the state, but there are a lot of good people here on the Illinois forums that will have something to say to you. You didn't mention if you were looking for a full time position or wanted to start out as a volunteer or paid on call person. Full time is probably hard to come by if its anything like it is down here. Long lists and budget cuts make it a tough career to get into.
    Good luck and keep us informed.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District


  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Lightbulb school info.

    Hey and welcome.

    I'm in cook co. I just started my path to becoming a firefighter/paramedic.

    If you want to take some classes or start with a degree; check out Oakton Community College. Their campus in DesPlains has a Fire Science Department, and offer "courses certified by the Illinois state fire marshal". Also check out firecareers.com you can get a good long list of schools in the state for free. Another way to get started is go to a recruit testing for a fire department, there are some that test in groups. I don't know of any in the area that are testing soon, but there are some coming up in '05. some department don't require any pre-education and will put you through everything. If you have any friends or relatives in the fire service ask them too. I'll be happy to share any info I find with you; you can e-mail me at jorie7-19@sbcglobal.net

    best of luck.


  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    SFDredhat126's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003


    Several departments in the Chicagoland area are starting to require that you are a paramedic before you are hired, and in some towns, such as Naperville, you have to be a medic before you even apply. I've also seen requirements of 60 credit hours of college or a paramedic license.

    Fire science courses at your local community college are a big help also. Get your Firefighter II certificate to get started.

    Test, test, and test again. Take every test you can take. The more you take and the more interviews you take part in, the better you get at it. Even if it's in a town you don't want to work in, take the test for practice. When THE job you want comes up, you'll do better at that test.

    Try www.eatstress.com. The guy that runs it goes by the username CaptBob on the firehouse forums. He has tons of info and tips on getting a job.

    Finally, sign up for full access on firehouse.com. That gives you access to all the job openings and test announcements that are listed. A lot of the FD's in the Chicagoland area post their tests on here.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ChiefReason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!


    GO FOR IT!
    Illinois has the best fire service program in the nation.
    Since you bought your house, I doubt if you are looking to re-locate.
    I believe that there are many POC departments in your area where you could serve a shift and go home. Residency shouldn't be a problem then.
    Follow your dream.
    I did and loved every minute of it.
    Even AFTER I made chief!
    Now, I'm just a lowly fire district trustee. Whoops; wrong thread.
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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