I have been in the army for 5+ years now and have 9 months left before being able to devote 100% of my time into fullfilling my dream of becoming a firefighter. I have been researching preparation advice on the net for some time now (here, CPT BOB's site and others). I have noticed the stress put on getting certified as an EMT before starting the hiring process. Once I leave the ARMY I want to dive in head first into training, however right now I am in Afghanistan for 3 more months and then will have 5 months at FT. Bragg in North Carolina. I am looking for some guidance on things I can do (ie correspondence courses) before I am discharged that will give me a leg up once I get out. I am receptive to any advice whether it gives me some sort of credit on paper or just general knowledge. Thanks.
SSG Jerad Crawford
82nd Airborne Division
FOB Salerno, Afghanistan
Staff Sgt. Crawford,
First of all thank you for serving our country. Itís people like you that make it safer for all of us. Let me assure you that men and women from the military make incredible recruit firefighters. You will find that most people who sit on oral boards will have a great deal of respect for what you have done.
You can take online classes at Alan Hancock College based in Santa Barbara California. I am sure others here will post links of other places where you can take other online courses.
Good luck and be safe!
Hereís the link:
SSG Jerad Crawford:
Check into getting EMT certified before you leave Bragg. That would enable you to take more tests and if you enjoy the ems side look into medic school which could be the fatest way to a badge. Your GI bill could help you.
Many institutions donít list or qualify as eligible education institutions when it comes to federal financial aid or financially eligible/accredited programs or vocational schools (let them tell you no before making assumptions).
Most private institutions do have a particular bank that is utilized by their students; you may want to get in contact with them. Although student loans though banks can be at a higher interest rate, theyíre still at a lower rate than credit cards.
One candidate wrote: I went through Wells Fargo PLATO loans. . I got a great rate and it was very east and quick to get the money. Of course, it all depends on your credit history. Itís also good to have your credit cards just in case since there are so many things you get nickel and dimed by in school.
Another candidate wrote: I highly recommend trying FAFSA first itís the cheapest route. By utilizing FAFSA I was able to get Pell grants, the BOG (waives tuition) and still use my GI Bill.
Still more: If I had attended an eligible program, and received the appropriate 1098-T form at year's end, I could have deducted up to $4000 off of my 2005 Adjusted Gross Income tax filing.
Another way to get in an academy is through http://www.trainingdivision.com This is a home study program that you can complete on line at your time schedule and then go to Texas for the hands on 2-3 week completion to obtain your certificate. Cost? About $2,800.