Hello everyone,

I'm new to this group, so I will introduce myself. My name is Bryan and I am
seeking some help with the ins-and-outs of becoming a firefighter. Currently
I am a teacher and I don't see myself doing it as my 'life-long' career. I
have always wanted to be a firefighter and have taken tests both here in my
city (El Paso) and in Seattle. I was pre-occupied with other things during
the times I was trying for those departments and regret letting that get in
the way. I really wish I could have put all my concentration towards my goal
of becoming a firefighter much sooner. Although, I believe I have taken some
steps that will begin my path toward becoming a firefighter once and for
all. I have enrolled in an EMT Certification course at my local CC, as well
as a couple of online Fire Technology courses and a Firefighter Physical
Fitness course; all for the coming semester (Spring '06). I will also have
my Firefighter Certification at the end of this year because I'm signed up
to take the necessary courses in the Fall of this year. Here in El Paso, one
can't even apply without being Firefighter Certified. I run and work out
everyday, and I'm even trying to get my dad (retired from a local refinery
here, was also part of the fire response team for the refinery) to get some
old turn-out gear for me to use (possibly go to a stadium and go up and down
the steps maybe). My determination has never been higher and I'm going to
stop at nothing to be a firefighter and would like for some words of
encouragement from some of you guys, as well as some good advice or stories
that will help me out. I'm 28 years old and time stops for no one, so now is
the time for me to put it in full throttle toward achieving my goal.

What are some of your thoughts on me taking the EMT course as well as the
other course this semester, all while I'm still working as a teacher? Will I
be able to handle it? I think I can, but some of you might know more about
some of the courses.

Also, while I am attending the course for Firefighter Cert. this fall, it is
going to be a 9-5 thing, Monday through Friday. It is also said that I
shouldn't work during that time because of the strain of all the courses.
Any advice on how I can work that out?

Thanks for any information you all may give me and I'll be looking forward
to having some decent conversations with you all.