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    Default Firefighting and College

    Im a senior in high school in Beckley, WV and I want to join the fire department right out of high school. My parents say I need some college and I agree but I was wondering if anyone knew if there was a way to join the fire dept. and attend college classes and still get a decent degree maybe an associates degree. Any ideas or information would be helpful

    Thanks

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    Check out Shepherdstown Fire Department (www.shepherdstownfiredepartment.com). They have a live in program there. They are located right next to Shepherd University and a short drive from Shepherd CTC. The University offers typical college degress, the CTC offers associates (fire science in particular for you and they have a paramedic program that ends with an associates also).

    Talk to them and they can explain a lot to you. Ask for either Ross Morgan (the chief) or Andrew Arnold (the president and the guy that created the live-in program). Tell them Dustyn sent you
    Fir Na Tine
    Fir Na Au Saol

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    Whatever you do, I would definalty get college out of the way before going career. Several of us in here will admit that.

    Please....Get the degree done and over, then get on somewhere.

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    amen, to that. I got hired whilie I was attending college. That means I had to go from being ful-time to part-time at school. Changes financial aide and slows down the degree process. I am still going part time, it is takes a whilie only taking 2-3 class at a time.

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    My friend is currently attending Penn State. He is volunteering with the fire company and is still taking a full semester of classes.

    Also, I believe that in college park Maryland, you can live-in at some of the stations. This way you are still firefighting while achieving your degree.

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    Default Look at Maryland

    If you don't mind getting away from home, I would look at Maryland. I don't know much about it but I know there are volunteer departments in Maryland that have live in programs where you stay at the station, make alarms, learn on the job all the while going to school and getting a degree. I believe most of these departments let you live at no or minimal charge while you are enrolled in school. Like I said, I've only heard and read about these types of departments, but it sounds like a great oppurtunity to get some great real world experience (lots of fire ) all the while getting your degree without spending alot of money. Hope this helps and good luck.

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    snmcgr - If you wanted to make the Fire Service your career, there is a great program at Eastern KY Univ. There are a lot of the people coming out getting into high level positions in large dept's. For example, Tim Sendelbach (I believe the spelling is correct) is a EKU program graduate and is now the training Chief in Savannah GA Fire Dept.

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    There are live-in programs all over the country (we have two students at one of my departments). I got my taste of Fire/EMS while at college for Business. it was a volunteer gig in that town. I did the stupid 20 year old thing and dropped college to get my still current job. If I was patient, I would now have a BS degree and 22 years on the job. Instead, I have NO degree to fall back on and 24 years on the job. Get and STAY in school.
    27 years and still having a great time in the back of the truck :-)

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    Default You Can Do Both

    Quote Originally Posted by snmcgr
    Im a senior in high school in Beckley, WV and I want to join the fire department right out of high school. My parents say I need some college and I agree but I was wondering if anyone knew if there was a way to join the fire dept. and attend college classes and still get a decent degree maybe an associates degree. Any ideas or information would be helpful

    Thanks
    I did both at the same time, but not before blowing 3 years of my life. Out of high school I screwed around, flunked out of college and had little focus or direction. Then I became interested in the fire service and became a volunteer for my hometown. After a while, I became a paid paramedic for the county in which I lived.

    At the age of 24, I was hired as a professional firefighter for a municipal fire department. That is when I decided to go back to school and get a degree. It was hard, but well worth it. I am now a Battalion Chief with 21 years on the job. I make a good living doing what I love to do, and upon retirement, I have a very good pension awaiting me.

    Many fire departments have tuition reimbursement programs, which makes a college education much more affordable. Additionally, becoming a professional firefighter is a lengthy endeavor. Depending upon which department you are interested, it could take up to 2 years or more to be hired.

    My advice to you is…enroll in college and get a part-time job (many departments now require some college and a prior work history is important) and start researching the departments in which you are interested. Most departments have extensive recruit programs, so prior firefighting experience is not extremely important. Next, apply to as many departments as possible. I applied to four departments and went through the process for all four departments before I was offered a job. Oh! Don’t forget fitness. If you are not already fit, get yourself in shape and be ready for the agility test when the call comes.

    Once you are hired, you can complete your degree. If you want a fire related degree, there are a number of distance learning programs available. The University of Cincinnati offers such a program.

    When all else fails…get an education and never give up. Everything else will fall into place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefChip
    I did both at the same time, but not before blowing 3 years of my life. Out of high school I screwed around, flunked out of college and had little focus or direction. Then I became interested in the fire service and became a volunteer for my hometown. After a while, I became a paid paramedic for the county in which I lived.

    At the age of 24, I was hired as a professional firefighter for a municipal fire department. That is when I decided to go back to school and get a degree. It was hard, but well worth it. I am now a Battalion Chief with 21 years on the job.
    There is one of those "signature stories" Capt. Bob talks about!

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    ChiefChip;

    I read your post and thought you were talking about me. I dropped out of college after 2 terms and bounced between jobs for a few years with no direction. A friend talked me into to volunteering with the local FD and after three years, I became a full time fire fighter, also at 24. I went back to school for my first degree (5 years part-time for an Associates) and now, at 45, I am finishing up my Bachelors degree through distance learning. If I had to do it over, I would have finished college the first time-life was a lot easier then (although I did not think so at the time).

    The the original poster:

    You are much better off earning your degree in your early 20's than like me at 45 with a wife, 3 kids, two jobs, and not much free time. Volunteer and get your EMT while in school. Looking into the fire department live-in programs, several have already been mentioned.

    When you get to the testing process you will have plenty to offer the FD of your choice.
    Last edited by KenNFD1219; 11-05-2006 at 08:35 PM.
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    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
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    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

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    thanks alot for the advice guys I hadnt considered volunteering until now I dont know why but now that I think about it that is a great idea and I appreciate the honest oppinions

    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by snmcgr
    Im a senior in high school in Beckley, WV and I want to join the fire department right out of high school. My parents say I need some college and I agree but I was wondering if anyone knew if there was a way to join the fire dept. and attend college classes and still get a decent degree maybe an associates degree. Any ideas or information would be helpful

    Thanks
    Have you considered enlisting in the Military? This often puts you in an advantageous position of not only honorably serving your country but also getting preference or extra points on civil service exams.(Boston and FDNY are two for example) Along with training and experience that will serve you well in life one can often get into the Army or Airforce FF ranks as it is always an in demand MOS.

    Just thought I'd throw that out there for you to think about.

    Best of Luck

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    Have you considered enlisting in the Military? This often puts you in an advantageous position of not only honorably serving your country but also getting preference or extra points on civil service exams.(Boston and FDNY are two for example) Along with training and experience that will serve you well in life one can often get into the Army or Airforce FF ranks as it is always an in demand MOS.

    Just thought I'd throw that out there for you to think about.

    Best of Luck

    FTM-PTB
    Im a type 1 diabetic and even though Im in better shape than almost anybody around they wont take me because they cant guarantee insulin over-seas and that is understandable until I became diabetic the military was my first choice but then I realized I couldnt do that..I am still checking with the coast guard to make sure they will not take me

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    I'd strongly consider doing the live-in program somewhere. Depending on where you are, there are several different options. The two states that immediately come to mind with live-in programs are NC and MD. Most of the Prince George County MD departments have a live-in program and there is tons of experience, training, and knowledge to be gained there... all while you get your 4-yr degree from U of MD or UMUC. Check into that.. or.. PM me about the NC departments. There are also many other departments that members on here can tell you about.
    Do it because you love it, not because you love being seen doing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lieutenant387
    snmcgr - If you wanted to make the Fire Service your career, there is a great program at Eastern KY Univ. There are a lot of the people coming out getting into high level positions in large dept's. For example, Tim Sendelbach (I believe the spelling is correct) is a EKU program graduate and is now the training Chief in Savannah GA Fire Dept.

    EKU is where its at. I am currently enrolled in the fire administration option of the fire and safety program. Co -op is availble with local dept. you should check it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenNFD1219
    ChiefChip;

    I read your post and thought you were talking about me. I dropped out of college after 2 terms and bounced between jobs for a few years with no direction. A friend talked me into to volunteering with the local FD and after three years, I became a full time fire fighter, also at 24. I went back to school for my first degree (5 years part-time for an Associates) and now, at 45, I am finishing up my Bachelors degree through distance learning. If I had to do it over, I would have finished college the first time-life was a lot easier then (although I did not think so at the time).

    The the original poster:

    You are much better off earning your degree in your early 20's than like me at 45 with a wife, 3 kids, two jobs, and not much free time. Volunteer and get your EMT while in school. Looking into the fire department live-in programs, several have already been mentioned.

    When you get to the testing process you will have plenty to offer the FD of your choice.
    Ken,

    I was talking about you and thousands like us. You are right...getting the education early is the way to go. Also, I still take college courses and go to as many seminars as possible. Even though it is tough, I think it sets a good example for our kids. As far as I am concerned, we have the best job in the world. Good luck to you and stay safe!!!

    What a great country we live...God Bless America!

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    I went straight to the local community college and got an Associates of Science degree in Fire Service Technology. At the same time I got my emergency medical technician certification and began working on an ambulance. I also was a Reserve Firefighter for my local Fire Department. So when I finished school at the college I had an AS Degree in Fire Service Technology, 3 years as a Reserve Firefighter, and 3 years as an EMT on a 911 ambulance. I was hired as a professional firefighter at age 21. That was less than one year ago.

    Work your *** off now so you can play and have fun later. Set goals and strive to meet ALL OF THEM.

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    I am going to the University of Vermont and am majoring in geography. I am still a volunteer back home, I did my schools ambulance for awhile and am in the process of joining another fire department up here. If you have experience its great but of course some departments can't afford to train you knowing that in 4 years you are probably going to be moving away. I had 5 years of training and experience so fortunately the department I applied for can't wait for me to join up (basically older members and few new guys and the few new guys they have have limited fire experience). Whatever you do start with college, everything can fall into place afterwards, plus college life is awesome and you dont want to miss out on being young and having fun. I know this because I worked as a deputy sheriff for 2 years before going to school and did some other crappy jobs before that. The percentage of people who have college degrees is relatively small considering how large the work force is and degrees can make you much more desirable. However, there are many people who are very happy and doing very well who have never taken a single college course. You need to do whats best for you.

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    The State of Maryland will reimburse 100% of your tuition if you are a volunteer in the state and are majoring in fire science.

    http://www.mhec.state.md.us/financia.../prog_fire.asp

    Combine that with a live in program and you aren't paying for anything but books, food, and a car. College Park VFD is right across the street from the University of Maryland campus. Berwyn Heights is right down the street also. Let me know if you need any more info, I'd be glad to help you out.
    rescue2@adelphia.net

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    Vincennes University (Indiana) Fire Science students have the opportunity to run a Vincennes Twp. FD station all to themselves all year long. As of right now, I plan on doing that next year. Free room and board, experience and all the fire I can handle, what's not to like about THAT deal?!

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    Default still in college

    Ok, my so my story seems to fall into the ones already told. Right now I am a pre-nursing student at a local college in metro atlanta. I started out as a meteorology major in Vermont, where I got my feet wet as an EMT-B student and got to know some of the local fire departments up there. Unfortunately after screwing around and spending more time at the Rescue Squad and not on my studies, I ended back home in GA changing my major. I love the major I have chosen to persue now, but if I had studied rather than going to the squad all the time I would not have to had come home.

    Long story short, stick with it and study hard now, THEN you can join the fire service. OR the other suggestions about Maryland and other departments around the U.S. that live-in volunteers is a good idea.

    On a side note, I am an active volunteer firefighter/ EMT-B for a local volunteer fire department.

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    Just don't let the fire department get in the way of your studies. College is a huge change from high school (especially if you move far away from home). If I couldn't find a suitable live-in program; then I would give myself a semester or two to get acclimated before joining a department.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

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    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

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    Not sure if you would want to move out to California but Cal-State LA offers upper division courses for you to obtain a BS in Fire Science Administration and Technology. I will be going there in Fall of 2007!

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    Hey MPV, How was Lyndonville? :-)

    My sister went to Lyndon State as well. I used to spend a few weekends there. As my hazy memory recalls, there were plenty of other diversions from study up there as well as running the town's EMS. Does it still operate from the campus? Good luck your second time around. I know how it is exactly. I was a business majorin a small college in a smallish community. I joined the FD reserve unit the college had and ended up never looking back. It was my first taste of Fire/Rescue and I was (and still am) hooked. I am still working for the same dept.
    27 years and still having a great time in the back of the truck :-)

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