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  1. #1
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    Default A few questions.

    Hey everyone,

    I have a few questions regarding career FFing.

    1. Do you all make enough through your department to live comfortably? Or do most of you require a second job to make ends meet? I'm looking into something along the lines of house flipping on the side, or something else self-employed wise just for extra money.

    2. I'm going to school to get an AAS in Fire Suppression and an AAS as a paramedic. I'm considering going to a university part-time to get a bachelors once I get hired on as a career FFer, and I wanted to know if it would be a better choice to get a degree in Fire Administration (the local U offers this degree) or in something management oriented but more flexibile to use as a civilian if the whole FFer thing fell through.
    -Josh Brehm

    www.crossfit.com


  2. #2
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    Default

    Most of the guys I work with, myself included, make enough to make a decent living. However, most of us work side-jobs. Some do it for "something to do" others do it to pay for special trips / vacations, and some do it just to get buy. It really depends on how you want to live. Outside of a few places, you are not going to make tons of money, but with some basic budgeting skills you shouldn't have trouble paying your bills all the while setting some aside for retirement.

    AS far as the degree goes, I would get a more generalized degree from a college, preferably in business. A fire science bachelors will not get you much outside of the fire service, but a bachelors in business will fulfill every FD requirement that I have seen and give you some other options.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Hey Josh,

    From a fellow Oregonian and career firefighter, I can tell you that most every department in the state will offer you a comfortable "Family wage" salary.

    From my perspective, I'd recommend you nail down your paramedic certificate if you plan on working in Oregon. Most (I'd guess 80% +) of the departments here prefer to hire paramedics

  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks to both of you for your replies.

    Firemedic, I'm definitely going to get my paramedic. I'm slightly worried at how much work it'll require, but I'm going to get it no matter what.

    BTW, where do you work and what departments do you recommend and vise versa when it comes to looking for employment?
    -Josh Brehm

    www.crossfit.com

  5. #5
    Forum Member Nozzleman25's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    Default

    Josh,

    As much as it pains me to say this your medic is a good idea. Most oregon Departments want that, you can get hired with us(Portland) without a medic but most of the smaller departments are looking for medics. As far as comfortable wage all the bigger departments in the state, Portland, TVF&R, Clackamas, each pay pretty well. AS far as recomendations, I am biased and would tell you to look to Portland but any of the metro departments should be fine as well as Eugene and Salem.

    As far as a degree in Fire administration it would probably serve you well if you want to promote at a future time. Any other questions feel free to ask.

  6. #6
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default

    The schedule allows for you to work a part time job, What a firefighter earns depends on the wages in your area. In New Orleans, Firefighter starting pay is barely above minimum wage , other places can range from up to
    $30K to $35K starting salary and beyond.

    If you are in it to get rich.. you won't.
    If you are in it to have the best job in the world... you will hit the jackpot.
    ‎"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

  7. #7
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    Default You

    If you are in it to get rich.. you won't.
    If you are in it to have the best job in the world... you will hit the jackpot.[/QUOTE]

  8. #8
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    Default You Got it Right

    [If you are in it to get rich.. you won't.
    If you are in it to have the best job in the world... you will hit the jackpot.[/QUOTE]

    As I was trying to say before (not sure why only part of my first response posted) CaptainGonzo has it right. It is the best job in the world. 22 years and I still look forward to going to work. We made about 11,000 fire and EMS runs last year and are on the same pace this year. Never a dull moment...sure beats wearing a suit and tie and sitting behind a desk all day.
    Nothing better than watching a kids face light up when they climb in the cab of pumper or watch the guys climbing the aerial and they really get a kick out of the tiller bucket. What a great job...oh, I think I said that already. Stay safe...

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber JohnVBFD's Avatar
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    Norfolk, Va
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    Default

    Where I work, I have to work two and the wife will have to work one for our ends to meet and live somewhat comfortable. I am blessed with the ability to weld so I can pick up some fairly well paying construction jobs. Quite a few fellow brothers will also spot me a few bucks if I weld stuff up for them for their boats or cars.
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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