1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Complete Newb Questions

    Hello everyone, i just signed up on this site and i'm excited to gain more information in the world of firefighthing. my whole life i've been interested in becoming a firefighter, but i really don't know where to begin? i'm 17 years old, 18 in may. but i ultimately want to become a firefighter? i live in san diego. i have lots of questions but i guess i'll just start off with the first few

    1) what are the necessary steps to becoming a firefighter? Where do i begin?! I thought about going down to the firestation, but i read in a post, that it'd be good to find a phone #, but i can't seem to find the website for this station (station 24) in san diego.
    2)Do you have to have a degree in Fire science to become a firefighter?
    3)A volunteer firefighter vs. a Paid Firefighter, whats the training difference between the two?

    sorry if these questions have been posted, i've been reading up and down the forums, but a lot of the questions seem to be coming from existing firefighters, or people already in training, but i want to know HOW to get into the mix of things...thank you for you time!


  2. #2
    former FH.com member

    Join Date
    Dec 2003


    Hi Mike,

    Welcome to the wonderful wacky world of Fire-EMS. Here is the City of San Diego's FD website, it should give you a lot of helpful info on getting started in your area. http://www.sandiego.gov/fireandems/

    Here are some basic tips to help you out. You absolutely MUST have a clean background to be a FF. So stay out of trouble with the law and don't get any tickets. No drugs! (big surprise eh?) If you smoke...quit. Get in shape, stay in shape. Make sure you graduate HS or have your GED.

    Local colleges may offer a firefighting academy you can put yourself through to get certified, same goes for your EMT-Basic. Depending on the FD you choose to apply for they may want you already trained...or they may train you. Do you homework on this. BE PATIENT! It takes a while (usually a couple years) to get hired on. You are young and have plenty of time so don't get frustrated and give up prematurely. Take all the FD entrance exams you can, the experience is great and the volume helps your chances.

    There are 3 basic types of FF categories. -Volunteers who do the job/training on their own time without financial compensation. -Paid on Call who get just that. Financial compensation for each call they attend. - Career, full time paid firefighters who make a living on the job.

    I suggest visiting your local firehouse to get more information. Call ahead if possible, if not then stop by during business hours. Be polite/respectful and the guys are usually happy to help out. Here is San Diego FD's general info # (619) 533-4300. You should be able to request the phone number to the local station.

    If I can be of more help, let me know. Good Luck -46Truck
    Last edited by SAFD46Truck; 11-18-2005 at 10:37 AM.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    MrYuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    In my own little world


    Some departments also require college hours. Not necessarily a Fire Science degree but only basic hours. Here in Houston, you must have 60 hours completed with a "C" grade or better on each course/class completed from an accredited school or university or received an associates degree. Or At least 2 year of full-time active military service with honorable discharge. Also I am not sure about "GED". They require completion of High School, I do not know if that means diploma or "GED".

    You also have to be Between 19 and 36 years of age before taking the Oath of Office, have the ability to drive, cannot have 2 or less moving violations w/in last 36 months. Houston also is adamant about good employment history.

    I know a lot of other departments will not be this rough on new hires but like 46TRUCK stated, you need to do your research. Apply at as many departments as possible.

    Good Luck!!
    "Training doesn't make you a good fireman, fighting fire makes you a good fireman"

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    thanks for all the input, i really appreciate it, i went to the local fire department today after school and they were more then happy to talk to me about it, the guy said he'd share his experience first, and said he was a lifeguard at first, and then he was saying how, you can take the EMT at a local community college and then as he was talking they got a call, it was really exciting to see. He said it was a paid department and for me to come back in probably next week.

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