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    Default In highschool looking for advice

    Hi all. I'm currently a sophomore at a private Catholic highschool in northern California and looking to become a firefighter. I have met with my school's college advisor several times, but she's never given me advice other than "look online". I'm most likely going to join a local fire explorer program within a few months, but other than that I'm completely clueless on where to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

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    This is the perfect place to start. I think joining the explorer program is a good idea. The do not expect you to know it all when you become an exporer. I was in your place two years ago. I read as much on firefighting as I could. I did not have an explorer program so I had to wait until I was 18 to join my volunteer fire department. Your college advisor should do a better job than look online. My advisor kept telling me I should go to college and then think about firefighting. I would workout, read, make good grades, and stay out of trouble. Good Luck!

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    Check out your local community colleges. I know many CA colleges have fire academies to get your basic firefighter certifications. Work on your EMT, and look into maybe becoming a paramedic. These are all things to do after high school, but look into the kind of programs offered. There are many ways to become a firefighter, but focus on what was mentioned above- stay out of trouble, drugs, stay in shape etc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNFF319 View Post
    This is the perfect place to start. I think joining the explorer program is a good idea. The do not expect you to know it all when you become an exporer. I was in your place two years ago. I read as much on firefighting as I could. I did not have an explorer program so I had to wait until I was 18 to join my volunteer fire department. Your college advisor should do a better job than look online. My advisor kept telling me I should go to college and then think about firefighting. I would workout, read, make good grades, and stay out of trouble. Good Luck!
    Sounds like the College Advisor does not have the motivation to point a person towards the fire service. I would definitely go for a four year degree. Look along the lines of a business degree. It may or may not help you land the job. However, when it comes time for promotion most FD's will give you big points for it. When it's time for the "big promotions" (Fire Chief, Asst. Chief or Deputy Chief) the mayors and city administrators like to see Masters in Busisness Administration not Associates in Fire Science.
    I believe them bones are me. Some say we are born into the grave. I feel so alone, gonna end up a big ol' pile a them bones

    -J. Cantrell

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    would you say its a good idea to join a First Aid Squad while in high school and try to get EMT certified before out of high school, or wait until after HS?

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    Wait until after high school. There is plenty of time to gain experience in whatever it is you want to do, after high school. Focus on your school now, and worry about gaining experience later. You only get this one shot at high school. Do it right.

    Once you graduate, go after all the training, and education in the world. But graduate first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry4184 View Post
    Wait until after high school. There is plenty of time to gain experience in whatever it is you want to do, after high school. Focus on your school now, and worry about gaining experience later. You only get this one shot at high school. Do it right.

    Once you graduate, go after all the training, and education in the world. But graduate first.
    As jerry and others have said, stay in school, Work out (sports, because this is a very demanding career), keep out of trouble. As you get into your senior year start looking for colleges that have some type of Fire Sience class, at a minimum.

    T.J.

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    well, i have 17 days of school left until my senior year.

    but now my mom is really starting to bear down on me for college stuff. i'm 100% set on becoming a career firefighter. so i'm trying to find places with fire science degrees and degrees along those lines, but she wants me to do nursing, but i have no interest in that.

    so for those Paid Firefighters out there - what is the best way to go in college? fire science degree? management degree? something else? any input would be great

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    There are many different types of programs out there that can help high school students to discover what they would like to do. I have taken advantage of many of these such programs. Now with being on the opposite side of the country from you, I am not sure if you will have these programs available, so you might have to do some digging.

    The first one is something that you have already mentioned, en explorer program. These programs are wonderful for young people. You are able to get your hands a little dirty into the fields that you are wishing to persue. This will allow you to get pretty basic knowledge of some of the things associated with firefighting. Now, some of these posts can be pretty demanding, so you will want to make sure that you look into one in your area and see what they are all about. You also want to make sure that you can fit the requirements.

    Now the second thing you can try to do, is try to get some kind of an internship at a local fire department. There are many departments that do not have these, but you might come across one that does. By doing this, you will be able to get an even closer look at what they are about. Here you can get to know some things about how the fire departments do things in your area.

    Now the only other thing that I know first hand that high school students can do, is that in some areas there are some technical schools that offer special programs. What I did my senior year was go to my regular high school in the morning, then in the afternoon I went to a technical school that offered firefighting. This to me was one of the best things! Throught this school I got all of the skills and knowledge that I needed in order to take my firefighting 1 &2 test. Not only that, I also received high school credit for this course. Now I did read that you do go to a private school, that might not stop you from being able to take advantage of something like this. I know in my class one of my best friends also went to a private school and was able to come.

    So I guess to sum it up; look into the explorer program that you already mentioned, ask your guidance personel or local fire department if there are any internship possibilitys, and ask your guidance or local school area if there are any technical schools that offer a firefighting program.

    Best of luck to you!

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