Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Is it ever too late?

    Hi all, I'm sure you have had a thousand people come on here inquiring the same question I have, but I will ask anyway....is 27 (a young 27 at that) too old to begin to switch careers to a firefighter?

    A little back story, it's something I've always wanted to do...be out in the community helping out, when I first had this desire I was told (living in LA county at the time) that I had two things working against me...."I was male and I was white" words which were very discouraging to a 20 year old still trying to find his way in the world...well now I have found it and can sign up for EMT training classes that start next week....I am so excited thinking about this I can barely sleep....any help and advice on how to go about this (especially California FF's) would be greatly appreciated


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    2,503

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JRodd79 View Post
    Hi all, I'm sure you have had a thousand people come on here inquiring the same question I have, but I will ask anyway....is 27 (a young 27 at that) too old to begin to switch careers to a firefighter?

    A little back story, it's something I've always wanted to do...be out in the community helping out, when I first had this desire I was told (living in LA county at the time) that I had two things working against me...."I was male and I was white" words which were very discouraging to a 20 year old still trying to find his way in the world...well now I have found it and can sign up for EMT training classes that start next week....I am so excited thinking about this I can barely sleep....any help and advice on how to go about this (especially California FF's) would be greatly appreciated
    I was 31 when I started.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

  3. #3
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    Nope...Go for it. Just dont wait too much longer. Depending on where you are I would think once you hit 34-35 it would be tough. I know it would be around here.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber lrg500's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Go for it. I started when I was 19 volunteering and got hired at age 21 at a paid dept. I'm 26 now and I'm trying to get back to a paid dept. Long story as to what happened. I'll explain if needed. Good luck to you.

  5. #5
    Forum Member AZFF25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    571

    Default

    JRodd...It's not too late to try to become a FF. Accually, you are at a great age to get picked up. A friend of mine who is white and around 29 or 30 yrs old was picked up by LACoFd this past year. He said there was a 51 yr old guy in his academy class. Me, I was hired full time when I was 32 yrs old. I have another friend who is also white and 24 yrs old who was picked up by Los Angeles (City) FD this past year. Don't worry...you still have plenty of time to be hired, and now that you are 27 yrs old you now have life experience that comes with your age. It's not a bad thing at all.

    I grew up in LA County (Santa Clarita Valley, LACoFD 73's area) and I tested in 5 different states. What I found to be the difficult part in being picked up in So Cal was that I am not a Paramedic. 90%-95% of the departments in that area all want Paramedics. Although I am a male Hispanic, there wasn't any "affirmitive action love" being thrown my way.

    First I went to a community college and got my EMT-B and went to work for one of the larger private ambulance companies serving the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley areas. I worked there for almost 4 yrs. During the time I was working for the ambo co I put myself through a private firefighter-I academy ($3000). After that, I became a Volunteer FF with a small dept and was able to obtain my California State Fire Marshal Firefighter-I certification. It's alot of HARD work and alot of SACRIFICE to become a career FF, but in the end it's all worth it my friend. If YOU are willing to put in the blood, sweat, tears, hard work, and sacrifice you will be able to accomplish anything YOU put your mind to.

    Best of luck to you,
    AZFF

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    SW MO
    Posts
    4,249

    Default

    I started career when I was 28. One guy on our department started at 42 and many others in their thirties. At 27 you shouldn't have a problem.

  7. #7
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default

    J- There are so many people getting pick up in their 30s, 40s and even 50s. Dont sweat the age thing. Focus on the oral boards and education part.

    The best bet now is trying to get a plan together to seriously advance on some hiring lists.

    If you want to call me and chat about it, it would be a lot easier than me typing most of the night here. PM me a # and we'll chat. Also look into the oral boards at www.firecareers.com

    Also, someone please tell AZFF to come back to California where he belongs.


    Thank you.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 01-03-2007 at 12:29 AM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,554

    Lightbulb

    Go for it!

    I was 27 when I got on "da job" back in 1981. I am in my 26th year with my FD and still look forward to coming to work everyday*!

    * well, most days..
    ‎"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

  9. #9
    Forum Member polecat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Burnaby,B.C, canada
    Posts
    147

    Default

    Most 27yr. old candidates that get hired , have been taking courses and applying with numerous depts for at least 6 years. You better have a good answer at your fire chiefs interview why you waited 6 years to try out. It doesn't sound like firefighting was your first choice, let alone a life long dream? good luck dude!

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    California
    Posts
    584

    Default

    Nope I started taking classes and got picked up as a volunteer at 24, started working as an EMT the following year. Hired as a temp at 27, career at 29.

    If you really get on things you could have your EMT and a FF1 academy done within 1-2 years which is a big plus.

    You might look at seasonal employment with the California Department of Forestry, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service or US Fish and Wildlife Service. Several SoCal departments also hire seasonal employees I know Kern County, Ventura County and LA County have seasonal handcrews, there are others but not sure which. Seasonal work is great experience.

    I wouldn't worry about the age thing too much, lots of people "discover" firefighting later in life, we all didn't decide to be firefighters when we were 6.

    About the white male thing, it is an issue but if you look around there are alot of us on the job. Try not to go down that path, it won't be helpful to your efforts and tend to result in self pity.

    I'd recommend you find a local college that offers fire technology classes and talk to the coordinator to help get you started.

  11. #11
    Forum Member johnny46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    2,094

    Default

    I was 24, but we had a guy who was 34 or 35 in our class. The rookie at our station (until recently) was 37 and he does just fine since we wrapped his walker in PBI.

  12. #12
    Forum Member AZFF25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    571

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU View Post
    Also, someone please tell AZFF to come back to California where he belongs. Thank you.


    Aww Bou....come on now. You know I'm not missing California, just the people that I care about most. Clean air and less traffic here in Arizona! Better gun laws too!

    AZFF

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    317

    Default Too Late?

    It's never too late. I got hired when I was 35, and went through the academy with a guy that was 48. If you want it, go get it. Study your A## off, train physically, and go after it. It wasn't easy, but I hung in there with the 20 year olds. I left a career job after 15 years, 10 as a boss making double what a starting FF makes because I wanted a job I loved. It was the best decision I have ever made. No Regrets!!

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the great advice everyone, it looks like I can get going on my EMT 1 next week....and as for the self-pity thing, I will admit that was what brought me down 7 years ago, luckily we mature and change (hopefully for the better) alot in those years from 20-25...sure looking back I wish I would have had the F-him I'll show him whats up attitude, which was maybe what he was looking for at the time, but we can't look back at what was....only forward to what can be.

  15. #15
    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Posts
    2,323

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF View Post
    I was 31 when I started.
    You OLD FART, you!




    I was 29 when I went to the fire academy, 30 when I was hired. That was 16+ years ago...Man, I'm startin' to feel old!

    There were a couple of guys even older than me (35 and 38) in my class. We were all hired on together.

    By no means is it too late for you. Go for it, and good luck!




    Kevin
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
    IAFF Local 2339
    K of C 4th Degree
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    Member I.A.C.O.J.
    http://www.tfdfire.com/
    "Fir na tine"

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    64

    Default

    I was 26 when I hired on and have seen severel older guys make it through academies. I would advise checking with the departments that you are interested in for job qualifications. Some departments around here prefer to hire trained firefighters with paramedic.(Usually bedroom communities with a high tax base) We hire based on written exam, criminal history, cpat scores, physical screening and illicit drug use. . Run our own academy where EMT I is taught and all are required to pass national registry. Paramedic is taught at a local tech college and the bill is picked up by the city as long as you pass.

    Paramedic level is tied into bracket raises and promotional test requirements.
    We care less about previous training and more about character.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    61

    Talking

    27 is certainly not too late. i dont know what department you are applying too, but many have age restrictions, i'm sure you have looked into that. but go for it, if its what you want to do, i dont believe you will be disappointed. sometimes it takes awhile, but it'll happen. good luck.

  18. #18
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949 View Post
    You OLD FART, you! I was 29 when I went to the fire academy, 30 when I was hired. That was 16+ years ago...Man, I'm startin' to feel old! There were a couple of guys even older than me (35 and 38) in my class. We were all hired on together.

    Kevin
    Tell me more about OLD......

    There is nothing about age with this job, it's about desire and ability. I started as a Volunteer at 16, came out of High school and went to work with the State Forestry Department. at age 20, moved on to a Career FF job with a large east coast city, then moved to the Prince Georges County FD at age 23. When we got 20 year retirement in the contract I just happened to be in my 20th year. I retired at age 43, but still continued to Volunteer. Nineteen years after I retired, the phone rang one day, and I took another Firefighting job again. I'm still Fighting Fires at age 65 and still loving every minute of it. It's never too late to follow a dream. I still am. Good Luck.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  19. #19
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Beaver Dam,WI
    Posts
    11

    Default

    I started as a paid on call at age 27. At age 35 I cut my wages almost in half to go full time with my department. Looking back I have no regrets at all. The last guy that was hired behind me was also 35 years old. If it is truly what you want to do, don't let anything hold you back.
    I could not have done it without the support of my wife and family. They sacrificed alot on my way to the job that I have now.
    I was very fortunate when the job I left offered to let me stay on in a part-time/consulting type roll on my days off. This has helped make up some of the difference in the lower starting salary.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber HenryChan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    84

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JRodd79 View Post
    Hi all, I'm sure you have had a thousand people come on here inquiring the same question I have, but I will ask anyway....is 27 (a young 27 at that) too old to begin to switch careers to a firefighter?

    A little back story, it's something I've always wanted to do...be out in the community helping out, when I first had this desire I was told (living in LA county at the time) that I had two things working against me...."I was male and I was white" words which were very discouraging to a 20 year old still trying to find his way in the world...well now I have found it and can sign up for EMT training classes that start next week....I am so excited thinking about this I can barely sleep....any help and advice on how to go about this (especially California FF's) would be greatly appreciated
    I'm 29 so it's never too old. Also, there are several Recruits in my class who are over 35+.
    Local 2068

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Donít be Late!
    By CaptBob in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-27-2005, 08:49 PM
  2. Late For Work
    By backdraft663 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 07-18-2003, 03:31 AM
  3. To late to start??
    By BIGAT in forum Wildland Firefighting
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-28-2002, 12:13 AM
  4. Is it too late for me?
    By FFsSignfOthr in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 08-16-2001, 03:14 AM
  5. WERE LATE, BUT HERE NOW!
    By TASK FORCE 5 in forum Meet and Greet
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-24-1999, 12:05 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts