1. #1
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    Feb 2005

    Default For those of you who weren't always a FF

    Not everyone who is a firefighter now has always been one... I suppose this thread is more for the paid FF's on here, but particularly with a lot of firefighters getting the job when they're well into their 30's (or sometimes later) lately, what did you do before this job? Do you think the skills you learned in your former career help you as a firefighter in some way? Did you find making that transition easy, or was it a major obstacle?

    I'm just curious, this has no real purpose other than interesting conversation...

  2. #2
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    stretch13's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Memphis, TN


    I came on the job when I was 29. Before that I spent 11 years in the Navy, and it definetly helped me. Not only with discipline, but being able to think clearly in stressful situations. My oldest son is getting ready to go into the service, for firefighting, I hope he follows me when he gets out.

  3. #3
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    JonnytheTurk's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    Dublin, Republic of Ireland


    Joined the brotherhood when i was 21....when i was 18 I joined an Emergency rescue team for Hazmats....they took me aboard so young because i was fast.....

    But it was definatly an advantage when i joined the fire brigade already had my SCBA training down and my hazmats done
    Dublin Fire Brigade

    *The Fire-Fighting Irish*

    If u cant use it, eat it or drink it............SMASH IT !

    And always remember to duck !!!!!

  4. #4
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    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.


    When I started 6 years ago, I had 13 years Canadian Military, of which I am now in my 19th year. Part of my forces time was spent aboard ship, learning shipboard firefighting for 5 years. Then I moved to Malahat and was "aggressively" recruited by the Chief.

    I'm in the US now, and have joined another fire company and am having a great time. To answer the other question about previous training etc being of a help. In many ways yes, but not in a direct qualification for qualification matchup. My armed forces time has given me some unique tools to work with, but mostly what I take from my "day job" is the confidence of knowing that I can be counted on to do what is asked of me. Thats what I got from the incescent onboard drills that all warships endure.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2005


    I was a dispatcher before I got hired full time. I think it helped, because I had no problems or haven't yet with getting excited on the radio because I was so used to it.

  6. #6
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    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Aug 2000
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!


    I got on "da job" whwen I was 28.

    Before that... college student ( public communications major) aspiring rock and roll star, worked in the pest management industry (started while in school for winter, spring and summer breaks continued afterwards) and did some work at a cable TV station and radio station. I was appointed as a firefighter in 1981, promoted to LT in 1988. promoted to Captain in 2000.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  7. #7
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    fireman4949's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Tallahassee, Florida


    I started in the fire academy when I was 29. I had worked many jobs early on, mostly in the construction industry. In 1981 I started my own remodeling and repair business. Although I enjoyed it and the money was good, I was never satisfied with it.

    One day, I finally decided to pursue my childhood dream to become a firefighter. This is definitely what I was meant to do. I can't think of any other profession that can possibly make me any happier or more proud to be a part of!

    I carried on with the construction business until just recently when I started a professional lawn care service. Better money, less work and far fewer headaches.

    I think the way in which my previous work experience has helped my fire service career is with self discipline, being able to deal with the public in a professional manner, and by learning the importance of excellent customer service, no matter what service you are providing. Also, hard work was no stranger to me.

    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
    IAFF Local 2339
    K of C 4th Degree
    Member I.A.C.O.J.
    "Fir na tine"

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