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  1. #1
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    Default Hoping to get some help here.

    I recently finished my freshman year of college, (focus in accounting) but really have no desire to pursue that career path. I was a fire explorer for my four years of high school, and a bout six weeks ago, signed up for my local department which is volunteer. Right now I am in the training stages, and should be finished with training come July or August. After that, I will be able to attend Mass Fire Academy, hopefully preparing me to be certified for my Fire Fighter 1 & 2 Certifications. Also, I am hoping that with this experience, as well as certifications, as well as paramedic training (which I will be starting in a few months), I will be able to join a full time, paid department a few years down the road.

    I am also looking at pursuing a degree in " Fire Protection and Safety Technology" at the North Shore Community College here in Massachusetts, and here in lies the problem. For me to do this, I will need to withdraw from my current school (or transfer) which I have no problem doing, however a father figure lies in the way of that. He is telling me to get my degree in Accounting (even though [it was something I thought I would like] I have no desire to pursue it) to that in the future, if/when I am able to join a department, I will have something to make money in on the side.

    In my head, I always planned on having a second job, because I never thought a fire fighter made enough money (However, I could be dead wrong here, and if I am please let me know), however, I don't want to pursue a degree in which I have no intentions of using, when I can transfer out, and pursue the fire degree which will hopefully help me get onto a department some time down the road.

    At this point, I really have no numbers or facts to lie out on the table as to why the Fire degree is the way to go, and while it is my life, and my choice, he is the one who pays the bills, so he is the one I need to convince. I was hoping if anyone here could give any pointers, facts, speculation that I can throw his way, or base salaries (with or w/o a paramedic training) [I understand departments vary so this may not be possible], whether or not I will need two jobs to support everything, and just anything else I can lay out on the table to prove that the move to the fire degree will be the right one, and be more beneficial in the future.

    I am not coming here looking for all the answers, or for others to do my arguing for me, but if I had some facts from current fire fighters, I would feel better making my argument. Hopefully this isn't to overwhelming or to much to ask, but I'd really like to get some answers straight from the source.

    Thanks A Lot,

    -Sean


  2. #2
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    Question:

    What makes you think that the fire degree increases your chances of being hired by a career fire department?

    Most departments around me give points for a degree, but don't give a good goddamn what that degree is in.

    And there is no question that, outside of the fire service, an accounting degree is more highly valued.

    If you just hate accounting, try another major. But honestly, if I were paying, I wouldn't want you putting all your eggs in one basket either.

  3. #3
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    College is not necessarily a career path in itself. Major can be something directly useful like engineering or misc stuff as with a humanities degree. You're proving you can stick to something and know how to learn. BUT we are also sending way to many kids to 4yr colleges, major in some worthless degree, they come out under a ton of debt, and qualified to work the counter at a convience store/as a telemarketer. We should be sending these kids to a trade school to learn something with value to society which will pay a decent income.

    A post HS education is a requirement today.

    3 options. College, trade school, the military.

    Pick the one that works. If no college find another where you will learn a skill, mature, so you can become a productive member of society. The country needs engineers, tool and die makers, and leaders more than humanities grads.

  4. #4
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    Default idea

    Target a degree in elementary education k thru 6 grade. wish i had! here's why:
    students at that age are not that much trouble.
    not a lot - if any - home work for you
    M-F 8 to 4 at worst - no OT, No weekends, summers and holidays off and depending on where you live (snow belt states - you sometimes get paid to stay home in bad weather)
    decent salary and working conditions at locations often very close to home
    great opportunity to pick up extra $ as after school tutor (they are getting $30 an hour cash by me)
    you don't have to spend a fortune on clothes
    and the kids can be fun

    best of all - all the free time allows you to be VERY, VERY active in a vol fire dept or FA squad - or even a paid dept or service on a per diem basis.

  5. #5
    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
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    Why not stay in school and change your major to something like business administration? That is a degree that can help you in the fire service when it comes time for advancement to Captain, Battalion Chief and beyond. Most departments now require a career related degree as a prerequisite for higher ranks.

    Get your Paramedic on the side while your still in college, if at all possible. That'll open a lot of doors for you as well when you start applying for positions on a career department.
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
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  6. #6
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Helps me out a bit, and puts some other ideas into my head to toss around.

  7. #7
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    is nursing a option? some nursing programs will get you into medic school. Join a volunteer dept and take the firefighter courses you need. Most departments require a degree for the upper ranks as 4949 said.. Find a new major, at least get your required classes completed before jumping ship... Fire degrees are specific, once you get them and if the job doesn't pan out you have nothing to fall back on. You don't need a degree to become a firefighter, find a major that you can use with firefighting (medical) (business) Ect. something that will help you even if you get hired on some place.. The degree shows you can finish what you started, Fire degrees are becomming a dime a dozen, if you find something that will also help you (Engineering ) then you may become more valuable to a department than you might think.. As for your dad? If he is footing the bill, rock-hard place..
    But if you can convince him that a diffrent major would suit you better he might go for it. But don't just jump to the firefighting school, look at the big basket before you put your eggs in it....put the ball in his court,
    Last edited by plisken; 05-27-2007 at 02:07 AM.
    Be SAFE!!! Go home when your shift is done and enjoy life.
    This is MY OPINION and ONLY MINE.
    Not my Departments/IAFF/WPFF

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by plisken View Post
    is nursing a option? some nursing programs will get you into medic school. Join a volunteer dept and take the firefighter courses you need. Most departments require a degree for the upper ranks as 4949 said.. Find a new major, at least get your required classes completed before jumping ship... Fire degrees are specific, once you get them and if the job doesn't pan out you have nothing to fall back on. You don't need a degree to become a firefighter, find a major that you can use with firefighting (medical) (business) Ect. something that will help you even if you get hired on some place.. The degree shows you can finish what you started, Fire degrees are becomming a dime a dozen, if you find something that will also help you (Engineering ) then you may become more valuable to a department than you might think.. As for your dad? If he is footing the bill, rock-hard place..
    But if you can convince him that a diffrent major would suit you better he might go for it. But don't just jump to the firefighting school, look at the big basket before you put your eggs in it....put the ball in his court,
    Thanks for taking the time for the reply.

    After really giving it some thought, as well as reading replies, it does seem pretty idiotic to put all my eggs in one basket.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Smerri....

    I don't want to get in the middle of something but My opinion is it's your life, NOT your father's, do what you want with it. They only disadvantage of that is he might hold the purse strings and if you don't do what he wants, he might not pay for it. Not a total loss, just a speed bump. There are so so many ways of financial aid.

    Most fire departments want some sort of higher education. This shows responsibility and initiative. It's even better if the degree was something useful to the fire service or related somehow. Most people are looking for that one individual that has a good balance of practical experience (vollie time, internship, other related jobs, etc) and higher education. Your explorer time is a good background too.

    A vollie department is a great place to get the experience and get your name known in the area (if you want to stay there) If you don't, at least you are creating a base for future references.

    I wish you luck in your adventures!
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smerri View Post
    I recently finished my freshman year of college, (focus in accounting) but really have no desire to pursue that career path. I was a fire explorer for my four years of high school, and a bout six weeks ago, signed up for my local department which is volunteer. Right now I am in the training stages, and should be finished with training come July or August. After that, I will be able to attend Mass Fire Academy, hopefully preparing me to be certified for my Fire Fighter 1 & 2 Certifications. Also, I am hoping that with this experience, as well as certifications, as well as paramedic training (which I will be starting in a few months), I will be able to join a full time, paid department a few years down the road.

    I am also looking at pursuing a degree in " Fire Protection and Safety Technology" at the North Shore Community College here in Massachusetts, and here in lies the problem. For me to do this, I will need to withdraw from my current school (or transfer) which I have no problem doing, however a father figure lies in the way of that. He is telling me to get my degree in Accounting (even though [it was something I thought I would like] I have no desire to pursue it) to that in the future, if/when I am able to join a department, I will have something to make money in on the side.

    In my head, I always planned on having a second job, because I never thought a fire fighter made enough money (However, I could be dead wrong here, and if I am please let me know), however, I don't want to pursue a degree in which I have no intentions of using, when I can transfer out, and pursue the fire degree which will hopefully help me get onto a department some time down the road.

    At this point, I really have no numbers or facts to lie out on the table as to why the Fire degree is the way to go, and while it is my life, and my choice, he is the one who pays the bills, so he is the one I need to convince. I was hoping if anyone here could give any pointers, facts, speculation that I can throw his way, or base salaries (with or w/o a paramedic training) [I understand departments vary so this may not be possible], whether or not I will need two jobs to support everything, and just anything else I can lay out on the table to prove that the move to the fire degree will be the right one, and be more beneficial in the future.

    I am not coming here looking for all the answers, or for others to do my arguing for me, but if I had some facts from current fire fighters, I would feel better making my argument. Hopefully this isn't to overwhelming or to much to ask, but I'd really like to get some answers straight from the source.

    Thanks A Lot,

    -Sean




    Are you kidding me, What if, when you get in the fire service you want to be chief. What type of degree do you think would help a Chief (Who is non-operational) in his day-to-day job. You can learn fire science when your studying for promotion. When you get higher up in the ranks, It's all about budgets.

  11. #11
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    Military experience "fire related ot not" is your BEST way to get on a Professional Dept.
    College degree is second best. The Volunteer "thing" will hurt you more than help you getting on ANY City.

  12. #12
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    WHOA! Sorry- Some bad advice here.

    A lot of people will tell you to look at the military to join the fire department as a career. I will NOT back that.

    Why? I have never seen a job application state that military experience is a job entry requirement. What I routinely do see is- HS education, AA/AS, EMT and/or Paramedic.

    I am a professional Firefighter and didnt need the military to get where I am today. I already had self direction, self disipline, motivation and self disiplined to know where I wanted to go and how to get there.

    Now- Pretty much most paid FD staff has some sort of college education. Most Chief Officers have atleast a BA/BS and more are going to Masters. I HIGHLY suggest getting any and all education out of the way FIRST. No one can ever take away your schooling, but there are lots of military people out there in the job market already.

    Ask yourself- Where do I want to work and live? If its Las Vegas/Clark County, Nevada- They want Firefighter/Paramedics. LA City- They are screaming for Medics too.

    PLEASE UNDERSTAND- I am PRO Armed Forces, but I dont see it being the best route to get into the fire service. We want smart, experienced, trained and educated people. Yes, the military can do that for some, but it isnt always the best route to a badge.

    Look up BC Paul LePore's 2 year plan for the aspiring Firefighter. It offers some of the best details to getting started.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 05-30-2007 at 06:50 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU View Post
    WHOA! Sorry- Some bad advice here.

    A lot of people will tell you to look at the military to join the fire department as a career. I will NOT back that.

    Why? I have never seen a job application state that military experience is a job entry requirement. What I routinely do see is- HS education, AA/AS, EMT and/or Paramedic.

    I am a professional Firefighter and didnt need the military to get where I am today. I already had self direction, self disipline, motivation and self disiplined to know where I wanted to go and how to get there.

    Now- Pretty much most paid FD staff has some sort of college education. Most Chief Officers have atleast a BA/BS and more are going to Masters. I HIGHLY suggest getting any and all education out of the way FIRST. No one can ever take away your schooling, but there are lots of military people out there in the job market already.

    Ask yourself- Where do I want to work and live? If its Las Vegas/Clark County, Nevada- They want Firefighter/Paramedics. LA City- They are screaming for Medics too.

    PLEASE UNDERSTAND- I am PRO Armed Forces, but I dont see it being the best route to get into the fire service. We want smart, experienced, trained and educated people. Yes, the military can do that for some, but it isnt always the best route to a badge.

    Look up BC Paul LePore's 2 year plan for the aspiring Firefighter. It offers some of the best details to getting started.
    the Military experience comment comes from the 20% added to your exam score...That HELPS ALOT..Plus the interview process is helped greatly from being a Vet. You are right about L.a. city and Vegas....Be a Paramedic..and your ON!!

  14. #14
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    Whoa! Again, I am worried about some of the info. being given here.

    First- Being in the military does NOT guarantee the applicant anything when it comes to getting a job in the fire service. Some agencies will give Vet. credits, some do not. the military might be the best route for some, but then some future firefighters do in, get comfy, start a family, buy a house, get in debt and never come out.

    Second- Being a medic is not another guarantee to getting in the fire service. There is a large, national demand for Medics, but its not just a matter of "getting the P-Card and youre on."

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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU View Post
    Whoa! Again, I am worried about some of the info. being given here.

    First- Being in the military does NOT guarantee the applicant anything when it comes to getting a job in the fire service. Some agencies will give Vet. credits, some do not. the military might be the best route for some, but then some future firefighters do in, get comfy, start a family, buy a house, get in debt and never come out.

    Second- Being a medic is not another guarantee to getting in the fire service. There is a large, national demand for Medics, but its not just a matter of "getting the P-Card and youre on."
    When L.A. City hired its last academy class....67% were prior military.
    City of Columbus, Ohio....81% were. Thats a HIGH %. I have a couple of good friends..."past military firefighters" that are on L.A. City..The both work in Toluca Lake, Thier always talking about how short handed L.A. City is concerning Medics...Basically, If your BOTH a Medic and a VET...Just pass the written and your on!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by profire1 View Post
    Military experience "fire related ot not" is your BEST way to get on a Professional Dept.
    College degree is second best. The Volunteer "thing" will hurt you more than help you getting on ANY City.
    And some cities do not care if you are former military, have college already, or were a volunteer.

    Some cities you start all over from scratch and learn things their way.

    Military experience is fine and dandy if you need discipline. But there are quite a few dirtbags in the military. Doubt they are the material you want to hire
    Co 11
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    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  17. #17
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    Profire- I am sorry, ut I have a problem with your #s and statement. Being a Vet and medic doesnt equal getting on right away.

    Nothing is 100% absolute when testing, I dont want to give out bad info. in here.

    Also, you stated ONE academy from LAFD, got all of most of their last classes. I bet the military #s arent as high in all of them.

    And, I know LACo has a Vet ranking and its usually less than 20. I just dont want to give out bad info in here or make empty promises to a FF hopeful.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU View Post
    Profire- I am sorry, ut I have a problem with your #s and statement. Being a Vet and medic doesnt equal getting on right away.

    Nothing is 100% absolute when testing, I dont want to give out bad info. in here.

    Also, you stated ONE academy from LAFD, got all of most of their last classes. I bet the military #s arent as high in all of them.

    And, I know LACo has a Vet ranking and its usually less than 20. I just dont want to give out bad info in here or make empty promises to a FF hopeful.
    Fair enough..

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