A newbie to the service....Where to start and need some advice
I've been a lurker on here for a while and just decided to start posting to get people's feedback.....I hope to have some good discussions and get good advice on here!
My father is a career firefighter for a city in upstate NY and I have good memories of him taking me to the firehouse when I was little. I have wanted to get on the fire department since I was 4 years old.
Currently I ride with a student run volunteer ambulance on my college's campus and am working on my NYS EMT-B certification. I enjoy EMS and I think its a decent way to get experience for the future, because I know the bulk of the calls I'd see as a firefighter are EMS. Collegate EMS seems to be a different animal then city fire/EMS or "real" agencies, but that is a different story.
I'm signed up for the firefighter test for my city and hope to do well enough to be appointed sometime in the future.
The following is where I am looking for some feedback. I am not going to make any decisions based on what advice anyone here gives me, just looking for some honest feedback, so please speak your mind. :)
First of all, say I did well enough on the test that they called me up in however long of a time...I just completed my freshman year of college....Guessing based on how long it typically takes to be called up, I will probably still be in school if I get called. Is it best to get the degree (urban studies and planning) and then pursue getting on the job after school, or pursue my dream if they DO call me up, quit full time school, and find a way to complete my degree part time while working toward/and after being appointed to the fire department? Right now my gut feeling is that I'll end up just completing school in one shot, but there is the option if I get the call....Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. :confused:
My other issue is I have been wanting to join my local volunteer fire department...I feel that not only would I be able to get some useful training, and some (however small in my town) experience but really I just want to do it to better myself and give my time...Not to mention to just have something to do and meet people. However, my father is of the "old school" and he's anti vollie. Look at any argument on these forums that paid guys say about vollies and he's probably mentioned it to me at some point. There are some departments around my area which in varying degrees exude the so called "vollie stereotype" that some paid guys I know of complain about, but there are many others where they seem like worthwhile places to be a part of. Sometimes I agree with my father, sometimes not on the paid vs. vollie issues......Its interesting kind of growing up in a firehouse atomsphere where its anti vollie, then later having the desire to do it, mainly in order to have something to do and give my time, with the hopes of becoming career in the future. Should I just not care what my father thinks and join a department? (Not trying to start an argument on this paid vs. vollie issue, BTW) I'm kinda on the fence....I want to try something new which will hopefully become a career, but I don't want to disappoint those who are important to me either.
Thanks for looking,