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    I am currently 16 and want to become a firefighter. I am not sure what i need to do to start training and get my classes sorted out. Whats the first step? Any help you guys have would be great. Thanks

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    Hey Shorty,
    Im not sure how it is in TX but in Florida we need to be EMT-B certified and Fire 1 and 2 certified. Alot of schools around here offer both. My advice would be for you to find out what the minimum requirements are in your state and start from there. EMS is the biggest part of the job and an EMT-B course would do you well to start you in the fire service profession. Check with your local community college and fire agency and see what they say. Good luck.
    Greater love has no man than to lay his life down for a friend.

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    Shorty, there are a couple options for you. COM down the road or San Jac both have fire academy's. Both are very good. Once or before you do that you will need to get your EMT. I believe to get your commision from the TCFP you must be an EMT. Plus all dept's want emt if not you to have Paramedic school. Some Dept's like Houston and Texas City will send you to fire and emt school if hired. There is also a place I believe www.texasfiretraining.com or www.trainingdivision.com same place. that offer both the basic fire school and EMT online. You can do both if you can handle the HS classes and the fire stuff before you are 18. You have to be 18 to be TCFP certified and TDH EMT cert. So that should help you get started. you have a couple years to get everything lined out but at least you are looking into it. If you have any ?'s pm me and I will try to answer them. Chris
    Chris
    FF/Lic-Paramedic
    Galveston FD "The Big House"
    IAFF Local 571
    www.galvestonfiredept.org

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    Being 16, I would sayt he first step is to try to find a junior or explorer program with either the department in the town where you live if they are volunteer and have a program, or possibly with a neighboring volunteer department. This will give you an opportunity to get your feet wet and see if it is in fact, something you want to do.

    It will also give you some training so when you get old enough to explore other options, you will have some training and experience under your belt.

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    The absolute FIRST thing you need to do is stay clean...Perfectly clean!

    That means NO DRUGS, NO SMOKING, NO DRINKING and NO TROUBLE WITH THE LAW (including traffic tickets)!

    Far too many young kids are screwing up their chances of securing a career in the fire service because of stupid choices they make when they're young.

    Please don't be one of those people that makes those mistakes. They will inevitably haunt you for years.

    Secondly (and I honestly cannot believe I would ever say this ), I agree with the previous post made by LAFire. Find an Explorer, or a Junior program that you can join. This will allow you to get a taste of what the fire service is all about.

    Good luck!




    Kevin
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
    IAFF Local 2339
    K of C 4th Degree
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    http://www.tfdfire.com/
    "Fir na tine"

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    Quote Originally Posted by shorty2031 View Post
    I am currently 16 and want to become a firefighter. I am not sure what i need to do to start training and get my classes sorted out. Whats the first step? Any help you guys have would be great. Thanks
    The first step is to finish school and ia the other posters said see if you can get on a dept as a jr. or something. Read and reread these posts so you absorb all the information as it will make you a good selection when the time comes.

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    thanks for all the help. its nice to be able to get your questions answered with answers that actually help you out. thanks again. im going to go to league city vfd and check if they have a junior program. if not i guess kemah. unless anyone else has any ideas?

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    Two-Year Plan


    This sample Firefighter two-year Plan was developed with input form Mike Sarjeant, a Captain on the Long Beach, California, Fire Department.


     If still in high school look into a Regional Occupational Program (ROP).

    Many local fire departments have community outreach recruitment programs.

     Graduate from high school or obtain your GED.

    A diploma is much preferred.

     Talk with a counselor at a community college that offers fire science courses.

    Set up a course curriculum that allows you to obtain a two-year degree in fire science. If the local college does not offer a fire science program, find one that does.

    This curriculum should also allow you to complete the prerequisite courses for a fire academy.

     Take an Emergency Medical Technician Course (EMT).

    This will accomplish a few things. First of all, it is a course required by most departments. It will also let you know if this profession is for you. If you find you can’t handle the sight of blood or helping people during crises, the fire service may not be for you.

     Enroll in a state certified fire academy.

    Many departments require completion of a Firefighter 1 Academy prior to taking the entry-level exam.

    Completion of a fire academy prior to being hired will greatly enhance a candidate’s chance of successfully completing the fire department’s academy. Many fire departments have a 25 – 30% failure rate.


     Find out if your community has either a fire department volunteer program or Fire Explorers.


    Volunteering in the fire department is an excellent way to gain real life experience. This exposure will also allow you to determine if this is indeed the right career choice for you.


     Volunteer in your community.

    Find something that you are interested in and volunteer your time: church, sports, hospital, YMCA, Red Cross, etc. It doesn’t matter. Get involved. Volunteering is something that should be done because it’s the right thing to do, not because it will look good on a firefighter application.


    Firefighters are self-motivated and have historically been involved in their communities. The perception is that if you are helping out in your community now, you will be the type who will likely continue to stay involved after you are hired, helping out in various committees and groups both on and off the job.

     Visit the local fire stations.

    Interview the firefighters and elicit their help in planning your career path. It is a tremendous compliment to the firefighters to have someone aspire to be in their position. Visiting the fire stations will help you learn about the job and the culture of the fire service. In addition, you will learn of things that you could be doing to enhance your chances of getting hired. Ultimately, when the department hires, you will be in a good position since the firefighters have gotten to know you and have taken the time to mentor you. There is nothing better than a “home grown” prospect.

     Prepare for a fire department interview.

    Consider the reasons why you want to become a firefighter and be able to express them. Do your research and learn the rules of the road concerning the interview process. Participate in “mock” interviews with firefighters.

     Start a log that includes everything you have done to prepare yourself.

    Include details, dates, and names of instructors. Include any personal experiences that may be pertinent to becoming a firefighter.
    A few examples of this could be:

    You witnessed a car accident and were able to render aid.

    You volunteered your time at the Boys and Girls club.


    You experienced a life-changing event.

    You were voted most inspirational on your athletic team or your fire academy.

    Your high school athletic team won the championship.

    You were a lifeguard at the city pool.

    Anything that you think might be significant. There are no rules. Write it down!

    This information will go on your resume, or may be speaking points in an interview. This is preparing you to answer difficult questions in an interview, such as, “Please share with the panel a stressful time in your life, and how you dealt with it.”

    The log should just be an easy and accessible memory jogger for you. If you are comfortable with a pencil and notepad, keep them in your room in a convenient spot so you won’t forget to use them. If you are more comfortable on the computer, then use it to formulate your thoughts and ideas.

     Get in shape.

    Firefighting is a very physical job requiring peak physical strength and endurance. If you are not in good physical condition, it will become very evident during the physical agility testing or the pre-hire medical exam. It is also important to look as if you are physically prepared for the job.

    If you see a firefighter who looks out of shape, don’t look at him and think, “If he got hired, so can I!” Odds are he was in better physical condition when he was first hired. You are trying to do everything you can to improve your chances. This is a very important part that you have complete control over!

     Look the part!

    The rule of thumb in an interview is to hire someone who you can see becoming a member or your crew tomorrow. A candidate who walks in with excessive facial hair, large tattoos or body piercing that is not permitted by the department’s policies presents as a candidate who is not ready for the position. Do not make the mistake of saying that you will remove them when you are ready to be hired. You are making a statement. It is important to understand that the fire department is a paramilitary organization. These will definitely not improve your chances of success.

     Dress professionally.
    Invest in a suit and tie. Although not required for the interview, a candidate who does not wear one stands out. First impressions are critical. Make sure the suit is conservative, not flashy.

    Dress professionally whenever you will have contact with members of the department. This includes station visits. Remember, it is important to make a good first impression.

     Enroll in a service that lets you know which departments are testing.

    There are several businesses on the Internet that will inform you of which departments are testing and what their requirements are.

    Most departments test every 2-3 years. They will then hire from the “eligibility list” until it expires. The window to file an application is usually very small, ranging from as short as 1 day to as long as 30 days. Once the filing period is closed, the department will not accept any more applications. If you don’t have a subscription to one these services, you will miss a lot of opportunities.

     Talk to your family.

    The decision to become a firefighter is a monumental one. It will most likely be a long road that requires a lot of time and sacrifice. If you don’t have a family or friend support network, it will become extremely difficult. Most importantly, if your spouse does not support your decision, you are destined for failure.

     Surround yourself with reputable people.

    A firefighter position is a life choice, not just a job. You must be prepared to live your life with excellent moral and ethical values. For this you will need the support of family and friends who are good role models. If your friends are not a positive influence in the community, you may want to find a new set of friends. Remember the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” A background check will scrutinize not only you, but also the company you keep.

     Learn a trade.

    Woodworking, framing, electrical, plumbing, welding and automotive are all common examples of a trade. Firefighting is a very physical job that requires good psychomotor skills and a hands-on approach. Typically those who have learned a trade possess these applicable job skills. If you know how a building is constructed, you will be able to predict how a fire will travel through it. If you know where the electrical and plumbing is typically run behind the drywall, you will most likely know where it would be safe to open it up. You will also have become very comfortable with power tools. The importance of being able to work with your hands cannot be overstated.

    If you don’t currently have this kind of experience, start taking classes in a trade at your community college. You will at least learn the basics. Back this up with some real life practical experience. It will be invaluable knowledge and will play out well in an interview. Mechanical aptitude cannot be learned in an Internet class or while sitting behind a computer.

     Improve your public speaking skills.

    If you are uncomfortable getting up in front of a group, you must take steps to overcome your fear. The largest percentage of the testing process is the interview, and ultimately a large part of the job deals with public speaking! You won’t talk a fire out, but you will talk to different groups about how to prevent them. If you can present yourself well in an interview, you are leaps and bounds ahead of the others who can’t. Even if the other candidates have more experience than you, the job will usually be awarded to the candidate who can present him or herself in a clear and concise manner.

    If public speaking is your downfall, it is imperative to join Toastmasters or take some courses at your community college. A speech and debate class is an excellent way to get over the jitters. Acting or drama classes can also be an excellent way to feel more comfortable in front of a group.

    Teaching others can also help you learn to think on your feet. Whether you are teaching CPR and First Aid or your local Sunday school class, it will help you learn to present information clearly and field questions.

    A typical interview question might be, “What do you consider a weakness about yourself?” Your answer could be, “I used to feel uncomfortable getting up and speaking in front of a group. I knew this was a very important part of my chosen vocation. I took several classes at my community college to help improve my comfort level. Since then I feel much more confident in my ability to speak in public.”

    You can have all of the best traits in the world, but if you can’t effectively convey them in an interview they will go unnoticed. Now that’s turning a negative into a positive!

     Maintain a clean driving and criminal record.

    It goes without saying that firefighters are held to a standard that is much higher than the average citizen. The road is littered with firefighter candidates who have failed their background check due to a poor driving or criminal record.

     Maintain a good credit history.

    Your credit history is a reflection of your reliability, honesty, organization and attention to detail.

     Update your resume.

    Make sure your resume has no technical or grammatical errors, is well organized and comprehensive. Ask reliable friends or family to proofread it.


    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by shorty2031 View Post
    I am currently 16 and want to become a firefighter. I am not sure what i need to do to start training and get my classes sorted out. Whats the first step? Any help you guys have would be great. Thanks
    The NUMBER ONE thing you can do to become a Professional Firefighter is...Join the Military..Veterans RARELY get passed over.
    Non Vets get passes over EVERYDAY.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profire1 View Post
    The NUMBER ONE thing you can do to become a Professional Firefighter is...Join the Military..Veterans RARELY get passed over.
    Non Vets get passes over EVERYDAY.

    Last I heard the term professional was being replaced with career because all firefighters are professional. They receive training and perform a service for the community that not anyone can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireDawgEMT22 View Post
    Last I heard the term professional was being replaced with career because all firefighters are professional. They receive training and perform a service for the community that not anyone can do.
    You must be a Liberal full of political correctness.
    Websters,Professional.....Being PAID for "Job duties or services".
    Only a jollie vollie would make a stupid comment like what you just did.
    Ohio issues "PROFESSIONAL FireFighter license plates for the pros.
    VOLUNTEER plates for .....Volunteers.
    It IS and always HAS been PROFESSIONAL.
    Last edited by profire1; 05-20-2007 at 12:13 AM.

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    "Professional" describes character....not pay status. ...and I would not use the term to describe all firefighters.

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    Hey profire......you should try acting professional instead of just calling yourself professional

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    WHile I am a HUGE supporter of people who have served in the military, I would not say that this is THE best way to get hired in the fire service. It is another component to look at when evaluating a candidate.

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    I would have to agree as a military service member. Being away from firefighting for 2 years already and a total of 6 when I go back to the fire service. I feel that I am a little behind as far as training goes from where I would have been if I had stayed involved with the fire service.

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