1. #1
    Forum Member

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    Oct 2006
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    Default Need advice, please!!!

    ok, im new to this whole firefighting business. I am 18 and I want to become a firefighter. I have no Idea where to start. I Know u have to go to a fire academy, but what do you have to take. I need some serious help. Please. Also I am wondering after you pass the academy and are a firefighter, do you have enough time to go to college, atleast for an associate bachelors? Thank You!

  2. #2
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    Jan 2003
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    Trumbull, CT
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    Default

    Ok... whoa.. overload.
    Start from the beginning.
    Congratulations on wanting to do the best job ever.
    First where do you live? If there is a volunteer department near by then stop in and join! You can learn everything from the ground up, and get all of your basic training paid for in return for gaining experience and meeting awesome people.. does it get better than that?

    If you do not, and you are looking to go paid right away, find out when the career departments near you are administering their next test and sign up! No experience is usually necessary, but it will help if you have EMT as some departments do require that.

    I know many people that are paid firefighters and are going to school part time for their bachelors degree. All depends on your work schedule. That should get you started.. good luck!

  3. #3
    Forum Member

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    Oct 2006
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    Default

    I completely agree with DanTCFD. A local vol. department might be a good place for you to start, especially since it sounds like this career path is a new decision for you. It would be a good idea to get a firm idea of what the career is all about. Hint, it is NOT Backdraft or Rescue Me.

    You might research your local departments to see if any have a student firefighter program. These programs allow college kids to work as firefighters in exchange for a place to live, training, and a little money for tuition, etc. These programs were big about 20 years ago, but have fallen out of favor in many areas. Still, it might be worth a look.

    If you want to apply for a paid position ASAP, start preparing NOW! You will likely be up against a lot of other eager recruits in any entry-level test. You need to be prepared big time. By far, the biggest problem applicants have is poor interviewing skills. Stand out from the crowd by being a well-prepared, professional, confident 18 year old. Believe me, that is something interview committees don't see often. If you come in with all that, you will be memorable for a fire department selection board.

    Also look at www.firedepartmentcareer.com for more preparation advice and a DVD-based course on becoming a great fire candidate.

    As for the degree, I completed the second half of my BS degree and all of my master's degree while working as a firefighter. At my department, we probably have 30 or more people chipping away at their degrees right now. It will take some discipline and dedication, but you can certainly complete your education while working in the fire service. That being said, don't think you have to get the job first. Continuing your education now will make you a more attractive recruit. It just might help you get your fire service job.

    Good luck!
    Dave

  4. #4
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    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Mesa, Az
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    Default

    Dave---Any thoughts on FF hiring/retention, and choosing the right people for the jobs? Looking for opinions and ideas on how Boards are hiring---are there many people washing out once they're 'in the system'....Looking for attitude measurements and matching job skills....Working on a Final Paper; and gathering ideas for Masters work...thx Rod

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