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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb B.S. Degree...Firefighter??

    Hi. I'm new to the forums and had a few questions in regards to beginning a firefighting career. First, do I HAVE to pay the fees in order to start my fire/emt/etc training?? Meaning: how can I get "sponsored", while I take classes, etc? Could I do an internship type situation with a dept. and afterwards, if they see I'm a good candidate--they pay for my training... Thanks.

    Kevin
    Naples, FL


  2. #2
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    Default

    I do have my B.S. from the University of Florida! Thanks guys!

    Kevin
    Naples, FL

  3. #3
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    Default Major

    What study is your BS degree in?

  4. #4
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    Default

    My degree is in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology--not related to firefighting

    Kevin

  5. #5
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    Default

    You will find as a general rule that there are so many “qualified” candidates out there that fire departments do not need to “sponsor” candidates to get them qualified. We take ones that already come prepackaged with what we are looking for.

    You may get lucky and apply for a department that has minimal entry-level requirements and will see the potential in YOU. In the meantime I encourage you to get yourself into fire science courses and become qualified. Put yourself through a basic fire academy and earn your EMT. Get involved with a volunteer department and LEARN HOW TO TAKE A FIRE DEPARTMENT INTERVIEW.

    Lastly, a Bachelor’s degree will help you down the road. I would not dwell on it to heavily during the interview process. You don’t want to come across as a “college boy,” who has never worked a hard day in his life. You are looking to come across as a hard-working person who also has earned a degree.

    While your degree doesn’t do much for you in the hiring process, it does help you immensely in the promotional process.

    I would absolutely hire someone with a degree over someone who doesn’t simply because he or she has shown the following attributes:
    1. He knows how to set a goal and reach it
    2. He knows how to budget his time
    3. He know how to read and write
    4. He is simply more well read

    Be humble about having it and show that you know the value of hard work. Most importantly, set a plan of how you plan on becoming a firefighter. Periodically reevaluate it and execute it.

    Good luck in your endeavors!


    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    Author of:
    Smoke Your Firefighter Interview
    The Aspiring Firefighter’s Two-year Plan
    Smoke Your Firefighter Written Exam (Coming soon)
    www.Aspiringfirefighters.com

  6. #6
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    Default

    Blessedguy, I am in the same boat as you. I have a degree in History and I didn't realized I wanted to be a firefighter until about a year ago. I have no training or am I a member of a volunteer department. I was wondering how much this will hurt my cause as I am applying to big city departments that don't require any experience either. I have worked as a landscaper/snow plower for the past 2 years fulltime and 3 years part time when not in school. I also volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. I guess my question is if I can't find time to fit in emt school or volunteer as a firefighter do I still have a chance?

  7. #7
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    Default

    Serious candidates find ways to get things done. Can you still get hired without EMT or fire science courses? Yes, but your chances are slim.

    We are looking to hire people who have made an effort and have sacrificed to become firefighters, not someone who happened to read about an opening in the local newspaper. Not to disparage someone who became a firefighter by reading about an opening in the want ads but it has been proven over and over that people who have sacrificed for the job have done well on the fire department versus those who just decided on a whim.

    My department has an academy running now. We started (28) recruits 11 weeks ago. With three weeks left there are only 19 left. We don’t hire anyone we don’t believe will be there on graduation day. The more you do to prepare, the better your chances.

    Why would you not want to become an EMT if 90% of our calls are EMS? An EMT course is 100 hours long and is usually taught over one semester at the junior college. We certify all of our new recruits in EMT, the difference is that it is crammed into a 3 week crash course.

    Those who have EMT prior to the academy have a better chance of making it. Those who haven’t taken it may make it through.

    You can use the same logic for fire science courses and the basic fire academy.

    My question is simple:

    Who would you hire if you were the Fire Chief?

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  8. #8
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    Default B.S. Degree-Firefighter

    I totally agree with Chief LePore. If you can join a volunteer company and get trained, fundamentals to FF1, this is best because you'll have training and experience.

    Thanx to the internet/web, you can get some of the classroom work out of the way on-line, but you'll still need to get some form of physical training at a fire academy or drill with a VFD. Nobody ever made fire chief, without spending quite a few hours as a hose-jockey and getting "redneck" and lobster ears at least once.

    College will help you advance through the officer ranks, certainly if you are working as a FF/EMS and you attend college part-time. I believe the the Chief will agree the best majors to be human resources, physics, chemistry, business administration and accounting. If you look at the jobs I've got available, you'll see my requirements, because these are imposed upon me as well. I've got to have folks with certain skill sets, education, training and experience.

    I'm a volunteer firefighter and I've been since 1972. I am degreed (Ed.D. - Administration, Masters=Vocational Education), which I've found to help me when it comes to grants, finance, administration, and dealing with politicians.

    There are some scholarships/grants/student-loans available, where you can fund yourself through a training program on-line and at some fire academies.

    For more information, visit: http://VFD-Funding.com I am in the process of adding a training component (strategic alliances) and a jobs board, because of where the traffic I'm getting is going (I've got jobs to fill too) and per inquiries from companies.

    Will Griffin

  9. #9
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    Default Which Path

    Who dredged this up from last January?

    What could be the fastest way to gain a badge? Where are you going to get the most bang for your buck? We have enough chiefs. We need more Indians. Everyone has an opinion, there are exceptions, more than one road to a badge and there are no guarantees in life which ever path you take. So what path? Packing on credentials, advanced degrees?

    What’s the time line? If you’re just starting college and want to get your BA, it could take you 4 maybe 5 or more years depending on when you can line up and complete all your classes and requirements. Then, if you wanted to go further the timing it to get into and academy and or paramedic school and get some street time another 2+ years? So around 7 years give or take to get in position to go after the badge. Are you going to need student loans? Do you have a special person in your life who is going to wait while you pursue your career? How long can you tread water?

    If you’re passing the written and agility, which are usually pass/fail, and you’re not placing high enough on the oral, that’s where the problem exists. What most candidates do if they don’t place high enough on the oral is go back and try to pack on more credentials. “Oh, I have to finish my degree or get through that academy” They do little to nothing in gaining the skills for the oral board, which is usually 100% of the score. If you don’t do anything to improve your oral board skills nothing is going to change, you will never, ever see that badge. The oral board is for all the marbles. This is where the rubber meets the road.

    This might help:

    Ask yourself who is getting the badges? The vast majority of candidates we see get hired do not have advanced degrees. They're more in the line of EMT, FF1 academy, working on or have an AA or AS degree or medics. Some have no fire education or experience. Their biggest asset was they leaned how to take an interview. This is one:

    Captain Bob, Having no FF history and knowing only a few firefighters, learning how to prepare for a fire interview with your tips aided me in getting my badge. Out of over 600 applicants, I was # 6 and the dept. was hiring 8. I start October 3rd. I'm proud to say I'm officially a new member of a Department, just north of Indianapolis, IN, which is also located in the fastest growing county in the state as well as the whole U.S. JIM

    Another: In my 24 candidate recruit graduation class was a group of guys with widely varying backgrounds, many of which have nothing to do with Fire Departments at all. This goes to prove that fire departments aren't always looking for people with experience, but are more likely looking for individuals with great Firefighter characteristics. Casey Anchorage Fire Department Firefighter/EMT

    More:

    It doesn't matter where you are from, what part of the country you're in, how old or tall, or fit you are, without these tools you have provided I'd still be a phone man in NYC. Now I'm achieved my dream job and proud to say I'll be a firefighter in beautiful Virginia Beach. This feeling of accomplishment feels like it will last a lifetime, it's an amazing feeling.

    For those candidates that think just because they are in the service as a volunteer or EMT, gives them the knowledge and preparedness is just plain ignorant. I was both a volunteer firefighter and EMT several years ago, and would not have known the skills and nuggets needed to get that edge and advantage through each step to get my badge. Thank you. Tim

    Again, everyone has an opinion, there are exceptions and more than one road to a badge and there are no guarantees in life which ever path you take.
    You have to decide which path you’re going to hitch your wagon to in achieving your badge. Because in the months and years ahead there will be some who will succeed in gaining their badges and sadly many that won’t.
    ______________________________ _______________

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    Fire "Captain Bob"

    www.eatstress.com

  10. #10
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    Default

    Thank you for the advice.

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