Thread: Need some helpful direction.
02-27-2007, 11:03 AM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
Need some helpful direction.
Hi. My name is Chris and Im 29 years old.
Ever since I was 22 I wanted to be a firefighter. For one lame reason or another I always got sidetracked in my goals. It hasnt been until recently that I decided to go for it. I start EMT school next month and right into the fire academy here in St Augustine Florida.
I have never been arrested, no DUI's, no speeding tickets for the last few years, I dont smoke, do drugs.
I have however had many jobs for one reason or another. I just never could get settled into anything I wanted.
I have a good job now as a graphic designer. Its not what I want out of life but its a good job. Im at a point right now being 29 that I cant afford to make a bad decision.
I know I should have got this ball rolling earlier but Im a VERY intellegent guy and pick up things FAST. I know I will do well in school. Im just worried about the hiring process.
Im willing to do whatever it takes to get the job, but how realistic is it to think that I will get hired? From what Im reading its very intimidating.
02-27-2007, 05:27 PM #2
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
It is your job to do the intimidating. What you have over other candidates is life experience. What I was told is that fire departments drastically reduced their hiring of anybody under the age of 25. They use to hire young'ens, but fifty years ago, you could be 20 and have served a tour of duty in WW2
I am a 25 year old guy that decided 2 years ago what I wanted to be when I grew up. I have had 10+ different jobs, but they have all taught me something different. It comes out in the interview process too. When I decided that this is what I wanted to do, my life transformed. I stopped doing anything that would risk my chances, I refocused my education towards fire science, and I started a very healthy lifestyle including diet and regular excercise.
Are you excercising? Do you have any formal education? If you do, but don't have any fire related education, then you could have a shot at a bigger department that is looking more for personality than for training. they will want to mold you into their way of doing things anyhow. If you want a smaller department that is looking for a foundation before they hire you, I would go through and get an AA in fire science and get your EMT-B or EMT-P. Interview every firefighter that you meet. See If you can't score a volunteer position near you. They are everywhere, you just have to find one. It might require a small commute, bit its all worth it.
It is a long, hard road, but talk to any firefighter and they will tell you that it is the best job in the world. If you want proof, look at how many people you compete against.
David Furey"sacrifice before self"
02-28-2007, 12:53 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
- Green Bay
I agree with the last post a lot.
The education thing could be a factor if you have a degree or not. If you have a bachelors, you have a real good shot for getting on somewhere. Also get your state FF1, FF2, EMT, and such and it will be easier for you to get in. As the last post stated many departments look at personality and life expreience instead of some kid straight out of tech school.
Also look back at previous jobs and see how they can relate to the fire service. IE..I drove a tow truck while in school and goes with driving larger vehicles, backing and so on. Also worked a job in the fire protection field, servicing extinguishers, restaurant systems, etc...used that for doing fire inspections and code violations. For you, graphic arts...attention to details, so on.
02-28-2007, 10:26 AM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Will having a bunch of jobs be a factor in getting hired as a firefighter?
The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES.
You have to remember your audience. Most of us have had one job over the last 20 years.
One of the previous posters spoke of the fact that each of his previous jobs taught him something. I see it a different way. Instability.
As firefighters we pride ourselves on being able to be counted on. Moving from job to job shows a lack of commitment and is a red flag that someone may have difficulty getting along with coworkers. While itís important to get along in the 9-5 world, itís imperative in the fire station. Loving, working, eating, and working under less than ideal conditions has a way to bring out the quirks in people. Itís imperative that everyone gets along.
You cannot change the past, but you can change the future. I really like what Cheetaguy said about how his life changed since he has decided to become a firefighter. Itís a very good model to follow.
Will a bunch of previous jobs keep you from becoming a firefighter? No, that in itself will not. It does, however, raise questions as to why.
We look at the complete package. Work history is just one component of your profile. Everything else you mentioned sounds promising.
Oh, donít worry about the competition. They will weed themselves out. I believe you are really competing against roughly 10% of the candidates. Most are not serious.
02-28-2007, 11:39 AM #5
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
I agree with the first response; that after you decided that this is what you wanted to do, you directed your entire life to it. Itís a lifestyle commitment rather than just a job. I completely agree with that.
Iíve never met a firefighter that didnít give his whole heart into his job, and Iím sure the ones out there that are like that donít last.
Thanks for the information.
One other question...
Iím thinking of getting a job with an ambulance company right out of EMT school despite the 33% pay cut. Will this really help my chances of becoming a firefighter? Iím sure every little bit of experience helps.
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