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Thread: Need Opinions

  1. #1
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    Default Need Opinions

    Ok, I've got quite a few different things told to me. But I still can't figure which would be the best route for me to take to become a FireFighter. In the near future I'm going to be enrolled in a junior firefighter program. And then after highschool I'm planning on going to the University of Maryland to get a bachelors in Fire Science. But should I go to the Academy before or after I get a degree? Or is it even necessary to get a bachelors in Fire Science. I'm assuming that it would help me understand a little better and would make me a better prospect. I appreciate any advice or opinions, Thank you!

    Ryan


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    Ryan,

    There is always more than one way to skin a cat. People will tell you a million different ways to get a job as a firefighter, and most of the time they will tell you what worked for them. The truth is there is a million different paths you can take to become a firefighter. My best suggestion is first and foremost, find the area in which you want to work. Do you want to stay close to home in Arkansas? Or do you want to go and join a big fire department out east like NYC or out west like Los Angles? The reason I ask is because every different fire department looks for different things. For example, a lot of the East Cost fire departments like Boston require that you actually reside their before testing, and many other departments give preference points to being a veteran of our military, which can significantly increase your chances of getting hired. Out west, in California a lot of departments are looking for FF/paramedics. Some departments give preference to people with fire science degrees. The point I am trying to make is to make a list of departments that you would like to work for, or an area in the country in which you want to work. Then look at the departments hiring trends to see what makes a good candidate for that department. The best things is that you are young and that you have already decided what you want to do with your life, you have a big advantage over other people your age. The best of luck to you.

  3. #3
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    Thank you alot. This helps me narrow my search down drastically. I'm leaning towards pretty much staying at home. I really love the city I live in and I would like to be a Fire Fighter in it as well. My city of Conway has a university and 2 colleges. It's a population of around 75,000. So I should be joining the junior program pretty soon. I'm gonna talk to my local fire fighters and see what exactly they did to get hired. Very much appreciated,

    Ryan

  4. #4
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    Ryan,
    Get your bachelors degree first! Your chances of getting hired in your early 20's are not very good as you lack "life experience." Take this opportunity to earn your degree. It will help you stand out in the testing process. Down the road it will help you promote.

    I would wait until I complete my degree before I worry about the academy. Completing the fire academy before your schooling means you forget everything you learned in the academy while you are earning your degree. In a manner of speaking, your academy skills get stale if you don't use them.

    Whichever route you choose, remember to keep your background clean. The choices you make NOW will have an impact on the rest of your career.
    Good luck!

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    I actually have a question for you Ryan. Is the degree you're talking about at University of Maryland Fire Science like you said? Or is it Fire Engineering which is what I thought. Because if it is Fire Science, then I might consider it myself. I know University of Maryland University College has Fire Science and the campus located in the same spot as U of Maryland. However, those classes are are online. I usually don't like those.

    The nice thing about those colleges, is you can participate in live-in programs. So you're getting the best of both worlds. I think they put you through the academy first or something and you work certain hours for them. That way you get your experience with a very busy fire dept.(Prince George County) I know their Aldelphi Station that is located just a few miles from campus is supposed to have one of the busiest ambulances in the country. There is also the College Park station that is actually located on campus.

    While you are working there, you can also live there for free. You are also technically a resident of Maryland then. So you pay the resident fee for college. I guess there is also some reciprocity thing as well where you can get the to possibly pay for your school. So you're pretty much getting everything you need, and you're getting it for free.

    I know there are a few guys on here that can help you out with that. I'm in the Fire Science program at a technical college here in Wisconsin. If I don't have a full-time job when I finish, I'm probably going to consider moving out to Maryland for that live-in program. Good luck though.

  6. #6
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    I think I was slightly misinformed on where exactly that degree was given. I think you're still right though, it is at the University of Maryland College instead of actually at the University of Maryland. But I was told that you could live in with a fire department while doing this and gain lots of experience. I'm gonna talk with my local firefighters and find out what they think about this as well. I actually like the idea alot. Of course just looking at the website I can't find out how much it's gonna cost and everything, but I'm sure I'll manage someway or another. Thanks again,

    Ryan

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    "If you put the fire out right in the first place, you won't have to jump out the window."
    Andy Fredericks,
    FDNY E.48, SQ.18
    Alexandria, VA F.D.

    Rest in Peace

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    I think I'm going sometime in August to try and ride-along. I'm interested in College Park since it's on campus and Adelphi since it's close and has a very high call volume.

  9. #9
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    I just called my local fire department and they do not have an explorer/junior program anymore. They had it for around 2 years then they dropped it because they didn't have enough participants. So I guess that's kinda out of the question for me. So now I'm kinda stuck on what I can do until I get out of highschool. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated...

    Ryan
    Last edited by ArkansasRyan; 06-25-2007 at 03:16 PM.

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