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  1. #1
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    Default Where to go from here?

    To everyone out there who has some input.

    I am currently a school teacher who does not like his job. My goal in life is to become a full time fire fighter as are many peoples on this forum.

    I have a masters in Education and have a Bachlers in Mathematics.



    My question to all would be this. What do fire departments look for in an applicant by way of jobs held.

    I really do not like teaching and want to get out. If I get a fire job I am out with out a second thought. Next year I am probably not going to go back to teaching. I was thinking of doing work as an EMT full time.

    Would it look better for me to stay working as a teacher or would it be better to be a full time EMT.


  2. #2
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    ant195:

    If there is a volunteer fire department or a volunteer rescue squad near you i'd try those first just to see if you like it, because it sounds like you put alot of time in becomming a teacher. That way before you make the switch you see if you like it or not.. Good luck w/ your decision.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I agree with Muttly. If you have a volunteer station nearby due the training and all that they will give you will definitely work around your schedule. It will also give you an opportunity to see if you are actually going to like the career change. In my state many people start out as volunteers and make the transfer to career firefighters. It puts a little experience under their belt and also the volunteer departments will put you through the basic classes you will need. It will however require a small chunk of your time.

  4. #4
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    Default EMT

    Gaining your EMT will open more doors for you to gain experience.

    Captain Bob

    www.eatstress.com

  5. #5
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    Default Volunteering

    I have been in a Voly department for a while. Joined in the middle of my education and had a realization that Fire fighting is what I want to do for the rest of my life!

  6. #6
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    Default

    Oh, in that case, I would check the local civil service paper( if you have one) or stop at the local paid department and find out when the next exam is. Start taking exam's even if they are from places far away, it will get you use to the civil service testing. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Default

    Your degree in education might be put to use in Fire Prevention or as a Public information Officer. These fields are often overlooked by firefighters just coming on to a department. Short staffed departments could put your teaching skills to use and put you on line as a firefighter.

  8. #8
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    Your degree in education might be put to use in Fire Prevention or as a Public information Officer. These fields are often overlooked by firefighters just coming on to a department. Short staffed departments could put your teaching skills to use and put you on line as a firefighter.
    Yes, but you have to still make it through the maze first to get hired and then prove yourself to be a firefighter before you could get the chance to be considered for other opportunities.

    Captain Bob

    www.eatstress.com

  9. #9
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    Default EMS

    I have been taking tests all over the state I live in and where ever I can find a job opening up. I finish teaching in June but if I am offered a job before that I would obviously take it. My question would be for when I finish teaching. Would it look better if I kept teaching or worked full time as and EMT? I have EMT experience and work part time as and EMT but what would look better to a town?

  10. #10
    Forum Member kghemtp's Avatar
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    Default

    Fullfilment doesn't pay the bills. Unless you're signing a contract that absolutely binds you to the position for the 2005/6 year, I might think the teaching job might be better for you (until you get the badge) since it's already established. Might I guess that you're getting some experience in both fire & EMS with your volunteer department? Do you have EMT? Do you have access to higher level classes, like Intermediate or Paramedic? What about fire academies -- has your department sent you through FF1 & FF2 yet, or would they? Does your department have the potential for hiring full time?

    While I submit that private EMS might gain you some experience, you might have a very valid reason for staying with teaching til a fire service job becomes yours. Money is a big consideration. Do you want to give up your municipal retirement (if applicable) without securing your 20-25 year plan with the fire service? What you make now isn't my business, but the Bach in Math & MEd is going to get you $9-10/hr as an EMT. Don't sell yourself short. Make what you have work for you, now AND in the future as a firefighter. Your life experiences will add to your assets in the fire service, and your time thus far (and into the future) speaks toward your true interest in doing this job. I can't tell you what your selling points are in an oral board, but it sounds like you have a good foundation for a career. Let us know what happens, ok? Best of luck
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

  11. #11
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    ant 195:
    Im in the same boat you are. However, I live in MI so to become a full-time FF, even after they hire you as one, you still have to serve 5-8 years as a medic before taking over FF duties. I recently acquired my EMT certification and will recieve my first Assoc. degree in FF/EMS in the fall with intentions of completing medic by summer of 2006. The way it works around here, you need experience on a voly company, you need EMS experience, you need an assoc. degree in FF/EMS, and you need to know the right people. Small town volunteer companies are usually made up of retired full-time FFs from big cities in the surrounding areas. They know lots of people in the right places, trust me!! Good luck

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber btrotta's Avatar
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    Default I made the jump too...

    I recently had the mid-life crisis/career change you are currently contemplating and there are some issues you need to think about as you prepare to make the plunge.

    First -- ask yourself "Why do I want to stop teaching?" and "Why do I want to be a firefighter?"

    You need to decide if you're tired of teaching as a profession, or just not happy in the place you're doing it. There's a big difference in the two. Sometimes a change of scenery can make a huge difference in your level of job satisfaction. Consider this carefully before you do anything else.

    If you decide you really don't want to teach anymore, you then have to decide why you have an interest in firefighting. It's a great job, but one that places great physical and emotional demands on you and your family. Are you ready for that?

    Are you ready to have people die in front of you? Can you pick up a child that's been beaten so badly you can't see it's eyes, yet remain calm while the parent tells you he fell off the couch? We don't get a week off at Christmas, and most years you'll be working Christmas or Christmas Eve, are you ready for that? Do you mind getting up 4 or 5 times during the night for false alarms, frequent fliers, and the occasional "big one."

    If the answers to all of the above are yes -- Don't quit your day job! Your enthusiasm for teaching may be waning, but it's going to continue to pay the bills while you take the steps needed to reach your goal.

    Teachers are not paid well for what they go through, but they make a fortune compared to the average EMT. Nationally the average EMT salary is $10/hr and the health benefits are usually minimal. A teacher with a MA is certainly getting paid better than that, and the health benefits are typically much better.

    You may think it will make you look more noble to say "look what I gave up just to join your department," but it doesn't. It makes you look like you make rash decisions and don't think out a problem completely before acting. Not a good sign for your future employer.

    Get your EMT. Work on the ambulance -- PART-TIME. Take a couple of evening shifts a week, or a weekend shift or two. Get a feel for what's involved in the job. You can correct papers on your down time right in the bus.

    Use your job to your advantage. Take advantage of any educational benefits you have through your job to take fire and ems courses at your local community college.

    Use your summer vacation to take some fire certification classes. Get your Fire 1 at a minimum. That will get you into a couple of live burns and give you a better idea of whether you really want to do this as a career.

    Go down to your local fire department and volunteer. It's not going to guarantee you a job as a paid firefighter, but again, it will help you learn what the job is about and whether it really is for you.

    Test wherever you can. If you meet the minimum requirements for a position, take the test. The more you test, the better you will get at it.

    And remember, having all the certifications and experience in the world won't help you if you are not the right person for the job. You show them that in your interview. Work on your interviewing skills. Practice your answers to the most common questions until they are well polished. And then bounce them off a few people to see if they're as good as you think they are.

    One hint: your education background would be a good asset for any department's public safety, awareness and education program.

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